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Surgery Museum Asclepius

The way forward can frequently be found by going back and retracing paths already trod, and by recognising that the successes and failures of past eras can serve as lessons for the future.

Asklepios Vignette

The Museum from Aesculap

Bahnhofstraße 137

78352 Tuttlingen,


A museum is created

Aesculap had already created a smaller museum in the company's administration building in 1979, but this had to be closed in 1992 owing to pressure on space. In 2001, a worthy location for the Surgery Museum Asclepius was found in the former Aesculap post building. The architectural style of this building, which dates from 1905/06, reflects the transition from the "Gründerzeit" era – the years of rapid industrial expansion in Germany after 1871 – to Jugendstil or art nouveau at the turn of the century. It thus recalls the first boom period of the company and retains an aura of the pioneering business spirit of the Wilhelminian Empire from which Aesculap emerged. 

The roots of western medicine

The museum tour begins with an explicit reference to Hippocrates, the real founding father of western medicine. His thinking still forms the ethical basis of the medical profession and is illustrated here through excerpts from his collection of aphorisms. Some of his maxims – which are just as relevant today as they ever have been – are captured on transparent cubes displayed as "philosophical cargo" on a metaphorical sailing ship. This abstract portrayal of a sailing ship not only represents the lifelong travels of the itinerant doctor Hippocrates, but also symbolises the dissemination of his teaching throughout the western world and ultimately across the globe.

The pioneers of modern surgery

The tour continues into the central exhibition room of the museum with a large step forward into modern times, where the focus is on the development of medicine at the end of the 19th century under the ground-breaking influence of asepsis, anaesthetics and radiography. These new techniques pathed the way for modern surgery and also contributed to Aesculap's breakthrough.

The Author's Cabinet

The Authors' Cabinet presents a selection of surgeons who have lent their names to important surgical instruments or techniques.

Surgery and Pathology


Bulldog Clamp

Artery Forceps (Mosquito Clamp)

Mouth Gag



Bone splintering forceps

Artery forceps

Artery Clamp

Gastro-intestinal Stapling Machine

Rib Cutter

Dissection Knife

Scarp Scoop

Gynaecology, Urology and Endoscopy

Light Conductor

Needle Holder, curved


Needle Holder

Needle Holder

Neurosurgery and Ophthalmology

Brain Spatula, flexible

Ratchet Elevator


Dura Duct



Traction bow

Intramedullary Nail

The Chronology

1867Formation of the company by Gottfried Jetter.
1887The two brothers Karl Christian and Wilhelm Scheerer become equal partners.
1889Snake staff with crown is registered as trademark.
1893Formation of subsidiaries in New York, London, Paris, Constantinople, Buenos Aires and Tokyo follows shortly.
1895Transformation of the company into a corporation.
1899Registration of the brand name Aesculap, construction of a new plant.
1915-1923Generous extension of the manufacturing plants.
1925-1929Rapid growth, export share achieved the maximum of 73%.
1930-1946Difficult times due to world economic crisis, wartime economy and occupation.
1950-1960Struggle for economic survival.
1966Lowest level of number of people employed at Aesculap.
1967-1971Economic recovery, new products, increase of capital stock.
1976B. Braun AG acquires a majority shareholding.
1977-1990Formation of subsidiaries in different countries.
1988Renaming the company in Aesculap AG.
1995Opening of the Aesculapium.
1998Incorporation of Aesculap into the B. Braun company as the Aesculap division.
2001Opening of the benchmark factory.
2007Aesculap's turnover exceeded euro 1 Billion for the first time.
2008Extension of the benchmark factory, new building of the logistic centre.
2014Opening of the multipurpose factory building opening of the multipurpose factory building.
2015Opening of the innovation factory.
2017Opening of the event staff restaurant after reconstruction of the old forge and 150th anniversary of Aesculap.
Gottfried Jetter (1838-1903) Gottfried Jetter (1838-1903)
Karl Christian Scheerer (1857-1938) Karl Christian Scheerer (1857-1938)

With B. Braun, Aesculap finds its way back to success   

The first world war, the world economic crisis and the second world war leave deep traces at Aesculap. The occupation of plant and machinery precipitated a long stagnation phase.

The number of people employed at Aesculap sank to its lowest level in 1966, after which the company’s fortunes began to recover. In 1971, the capital stock was raised for the first time since 1933 from DM 4.3m to DM 6.5m. Aesculap reacted to the increasing specialization within surgery by developing new products for cardio-vascular surgery, arthroscopy and micro-surgery, as well as hip joint prostheses.

B. Braun Melsungen AG acquired a majority shareholding in 1976.

In 1977, Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Ungethüm arrived at Aesculap, initially as a Deputy Board Member. He became a full Member of the Board in 1979 and was appointed Chairman in 1983. In 1996, Prof. Ungethüm also became a Member of the Board of B. Braun Melsungen AG and was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Board in the same year. Two years later, Aesculap AG & Co. KG was incorporated into the B. Braun company as the Aesculap Division.

Aesculap’s fortune continued to rise. From 1995 onwards a series of major, trendsetting building programmes was successfully initiated, beginning with the Aesculapium and owing much to Prof. Ungethüm’s broad vision.

The Benchmark Factory, a modern manufacturing facility for implants, was opened in 2001.

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