Emanuel Goldberg was born 31 August 1881 in Moscow into a Russian Jewish family.  Emanuel was educated in the cultured, cosmopolitan world in late 19th century Moscow.  He enrolled at University of Moscow to study Chemistry. An exceptional student, he collaborated in research in electrochemical reactions with Alexander Speranskii, a faculty member, who specialized in physical chemistry.

In 1903 Goldberg received his first patent at the age of 24. In April, 1906, Goldberg finished his Ph.D. at the University of Leipzig, awarded with highest honors, summa cum laude.  After a year as assistant to Adolf Miethe in the Photochemistry Laboratory at the Technical University in Charlottenburg, Berlin, he became head of the Photographic Department of the Royal Academy of Graphic Arts and Bookcraft, in Leipzig from 1907 to 1917.

In 1917 Goldberg was recruited by the Carl Zeiss firm in Jena to become a director of its photographic products subsidiary ICA (Internationale Camera Aktien Gesellschaft) in Dresden.  Here he introduced the breakthrough, spring-driven Kinamo portable movie camera.  Kinamo forever changed how film,  especially documentary movies, were created. 

In 1926 four leading photographic firms formed Zeiss Ikon under Goldberg's leadership.   He was leading manager of the company until he was kidnapped by the Nazis in 1933.  After three days of uncertain confinement, he was released because of his international reputation, and fled afterwards to Czechoslovakia, Italy and at last to Paris.  After four years working for Zeiss subsidiaries in France, Goldberg moved to Palestine in 1937. There he established a laboratory, Goldberg Instruments, which became the Electro-Optical Industries ("El-Op") in Rehovot where he continued his innovation work.


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