Our history

The cornerstone of success

Our history brought us from a trading company to one of the world market leaders in vacuum technology.

Pioneers in vacuum innovation since 1850


The businessman Ernst Leybold laid the foundation stone for success when he moved from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Cologne in 1850 and founded his first company – initially as a commission and forwarding agency for medical glassware, ointment pots, thermometers and scales. In 1854 he expanded his range of products to include physical, pharmaceutical and chemical apparatus. In 1870 Leybold finally sold his business, which, however, continued to operate under the name of E. Leybold’s Nachfolger.

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Our founders

Ernst Leybold combined a willingness to work hard with the ability to recognize when a good business opportunity presented itself. Wolfgang Gaede personally held close to 40 patents in Germany alone for vacuum technology. Dr. Manfred Dunkel expanded his predecessor’s accomplishments to move the company forward.


Our history spans a period of over 170 years. Innovative vacuum technology was continually put to use in order to make the applications of our customers possible and enable profitable progress. Read all our milestones in the Leybold book below.