Electron microscopy is a discipline which boasts a very long history as well as an interesting presence.
The very first electron microscope was brought to Brno in 1947 as part of the post-war aid from the UNRRA relief agency. In 1951, the scientists at the Department of Theoretical and Experimental Electrical Engineering at the Brno University of Technology developed the first commercially available Czechoslovak electron microscope, the Tesla BS 241 and – several years later – its table-top version, the Tesla BS 242, which won the gold medal at the World EXPO in 1958.
Since then, this discipline has not only survived in Brno – it has even flourished, reaching top-level global significance, mainly thanks to several major figures (e.g. Armin Delong). Currently, one third of global electron microscope production takes place in Brno, and nowhere else in the world can you find such a concentration of companies and scientific institutions dealing in electron microscopy. Scholarly periodicals often call Brno “the global capital of electron microscopy” or “the Mecca of electron microscopy”; it is considered a global centre of excellent research, development, and production of electron microscopes.