On 1 January 1878, Josef Rodenstock (32), a peddler of self-designed measuring instruments and glasses frames, started business operations together with his brother Michael of the company “G. Rodenstock”, which had been founded in Würzburg in 1877.
The head office of the company was moved to Munich in 1883 and is still located there today.
The self-made man, who enjoyed taking risks, was a blend of inventiveness, daring and unusually high intellect. He was considered just, helpful and humorous, but “terrible in his anger over errors or inability”. He built up the company from nothing with energy and an iron will to work. Although he was soon very wealthy, he remained modest in his own needs.
As a businessman, he never walked away from an argument if he was convinced that it was important for the development of his company. He combated “unprofessional spectacles traders”, took legal proceedings against competitors and fought against ophthalmologists who complained about Rodenstock’s educational publications.