History

Get an impression of our long history:

1808

March 5, Petrus Jacobus Kipp is born in Utrecht, the Netherlands

1829

With a thesis on seven substances P.J. Kipp passes his exam as a pharmacist (by coincidence this thesis is discovered again in 2004 in the records of an old pharmacy shop in the town of Utrecht and the thesis is bought by the city of Delft).

1830

Kipp buys an existing pharmacy shop in the town of Delft, close to the old church. To increase his income he starts an instrument business under the name Kipp.

1842

King Willem II founds in Delft the Royal Academy (now Delft Technical University). Mr. Kipp had some friends at this Academy who appreciated his advice and ideas. Also he is engaged in several commissions and societies. To detect arsenic in living matter he used a H2S gas generator produced by Marsh in 1836, but Kipp was not happy with the design of this instrument.

1844

Kipp publishes two designs for a gas generator in a Dutch journal. Both models of the gas generator are manufactured in The Hague by the German glassblower Geissler, but only the second design is satisfactory.
Meanwhile he travels through Europe, especially France, England and Germany looking for new instruments.

1850

First catalogue of physical, chemical and medical instruments (more than 1000 items) in Dutch and French. In the list are items from small spoons up to astronomical telescopes (Munich achromat) with a clockwork driven tracker.

1864

After Kipp's sudden death in February, his widow and one of their sons carry on the instrument business and the firm's name becomes Kipp & Zoon (son) for two years.

1865

As the result of a Japanese Mission to Holland (and Delft) instruments begin to be exported to that country and also an expedition to China (for improvement of dykes) is equipped partially by Kipp & Zoon.

1866

Two sons, Anthonius Johannes (instrument-maker) and Wilhelmus Arnoldus (pharmacist), continue the firm under the name Kipp & Zonen (sons).
After some years Kipp & Zonen buys three premises behind the pharmacy to house its master instrument-maker Mr. A. Filbry.

1880

A further stage in the development of the firm takes place when Mr. Jan Willem Giltay closes his workshop in Dordrecht and comes to Delft to manage the instrument-making side of the business. Giltay, who studied physics for two years in Germany, is very interested in the latest technologies and constructs himself a phonograph and telephones as early as 1878. The repair of a phonograph from Delft University by Giltay made an impression on Anthonius Kipp.

1887

Anthonius Kipp retires and Giltay becomes owner of the firm named P.J. Kipp & Zonen, J.W. Giltay Opvolger (successor). Wilhelmus Arnoldus continues the separate pharmacy, which still exists under the same name. And up to January 2008 even in the same place!

1910

Otto Ankersmit (age 25), found by Giltay with the help of his old technical school, enters the business. At that time the workshop manufactures mainly telephones and accessories for the Dutch and East Indian railway companies.

1913

In this year another man from Utrecht brings a new impulse to the firm. Dr. W.J.H. Moll, a scientist at Utrecht University, contacts Kipp & Zonen to show him some innovations; a sensitive mirror galvanometer and a rapid sensitive thermopile. Mr. Ankersmit is impressed and starts the production of both instruments, which eventually leads to a complete new product range of scientific instruments.

1918

To make space in the workshop for the galvanometer and thermopile production, Mr. Ankersmit decides to move the telephone works into a new factory as a separate enterprise. However, after three years the telephone works fails due to a shortage of metals, alloys and other material caused by the World War.

1923

Prof. Dr. Moll promotes the thermopile at a meteorological congress in Utrecht. Dr. Ladislas Gorczynski (Meteo Warshaw) is interested and constructs a thermo-electric pyrheliometer and makes the first daily curves of direct solar radiation with his recording galvanometer.

1927

The first Kipp catalogue appears with "Solarimeters and Pyrheliometers" and photographic drums to record the intensity of global and direct solar radiation.

1930

At the company centenary Mr. Ankersmit states that the production of Kipp & Zonen is instruments based on the Moll principle. The firm is healthy with 46 workers and 28 persons in the office staff and 6 salesmen, although the World depression is already underway.

1931

Kipp & Zonen Delft out-sources his chemicals and glassware business to N.V. v/h G.B. Salm, Amsterdam. The joint-venture is named N.V. Salm-Kipp and still exists as Salm en Kipp B.V. in Breukelen (Brooklyn!) near Utrecht.
Kipp & Zonen now is mainly a manufacturer of scientific instruments, which often contain thermopile detectors and mirror galvanometers with recording drums. Among them micro-photometers and large recording IR spectrographs based on the ideas of Dutch scientists Mr. Zernike, Mr. van Cittert and Mr. van Heel.

1945

After the Second World War medical scientists contact Kipp & Zonen for design equipment for their hospitals, including Diaferometers for CO2 and O2 measurement, Oxymeters for O2 in blood and Flame photometers.

1963

Kipp & Zonen leaves the premises behind the old pharmacy and moves to a new modern factory in the suburbs of Delft. Meanwhile next to the galvanometers an electronic recorder range is developed, which rapidly becomes more important.

1975

The product range is too diverse and all chemical analysis equipment is transferred to a new independent firm named Kipp Analytica, which unfortunately fails within 5 years.
Kipp & Zonen B.V. restricts itself to the production of chart recorders, some galvanometers and the radiation sensors based on thermopiles. The sensors turnover is only 50 instruments per year and only 1% of total sales. A termination of thermopile production is considered. However, the oil crisis of 1973 and automation of horticulture in Holland initiates a rising demand for reliable solar radiation sensors and the turnover increases tenfold.

1989

Until now the handmade Moll thermopiles are the basis of the solar radiation equipment. At this time electroplated polyamide foil thermopiles become available and CM1, CM5, CM6B, CM3 are developed. Semiconductor thermopiles are now used for the more scientific pyranometers CM 21, CM 22 and the pyrheliometer CH 1.

1996

The Canadian firm SCI-TEC Instruments acquires Kipp & Zonen B.V. and its related sales offices. The firm is the manufacturer of the Brewer Ozone Spectrophotometer, developed in Canada by the University of Toronto originally for the Meteorological Service of Canada. The Brewer is already the standard instrument for the global monitoring of the ozone layer thickness.

2000

The decision is taken to change the name of the holding company from SCI-TEC Instruments to the better known Kipp & Zonen Inc, quoted on the Toronto stock exchange.

2005

Celebration of our 175th anniversary.

2014

Rabo Capital, Dutch midmarket private equity fund, together with the management team acquires Kipp & Zonen.

Today

Kipp & Zonen is the expert in solar radiation measurement solutions with a comprehensive range of solar instruments, from low level to the highest quality available. Furtermore we manufacture scientific instrumentation such as the Brewer spectrophotometer and LAS MkII Large Ap[erture Scintillometer.

The company continues to explore new technologies and respond to the challenges of a changing environment that face scientists today and in the future.