On 17th July 1876, Marcus Sommer senior founded the SOMSOWorkshops in Sonneberg, Thuringia for the manufacture of anatomical models which, back then, were all made exclusively by hand. Son Fritz, grandson Marcus junior, his great-grandson Hans, and great-great-grandson Louis-Benedikt are responsible for the company SOMSO Modelle GmbH within the framework of its worldwide recognition.
In Sonneberg, Marcus Sommer begins the production of anatomical teaching models made of papier maché.
Around 1880: A comprehensive collection of fruit models produced, in agreement with the German Pomological Society
Development of a collection of artificial fungi models – with more than 200 species today.
1st January 1895: Fritz Sommer, born 27th December 1879, inherits his father's business. Died: 29th September 1934
Production of an extensive range of heat-resistant moulages in co-operation with university institutes in Jena.
Start of the scientific collaboration with and consultation by Paul Hagedorn, Principal Preparator at the Anatomical Institute in Leipzig.
Marcus Sommer Jnr acquires a new customer in England: Messrs Adam,Rouilly, with whom SOMSO® have had an excellent business relationship since 1927.
1st April 1930: Acquisition of Coburger Lehrmittel-Anstalt from Max Albert Sommer, Neuses, Coburg
15th April 1929: Modeller, Max Doehler, born 13th June 1905 in Schalkau joins the company. During his 52 years with the company, the range of anatomical, zoological and botanical SOMSO®Modelle is extended and improved
After the death of her husband Fritz Sommer, Ida Sommer manages the company as a partner until the confiscation in 1952. Born: 18th January 1882 Died: 10st August 1959
12th October 1936: Purchase and take-over of the Dr. h. c. Friedrich Ziegler Studio for Scientific Plastics, Freiburg in Breisgau
From November 1936, production and distribution of the thoroughbred animal statuette collection by Max Landsberg and C.A. Brasch.
1st January 1937: Marcus Sommer Jnr, born on 25th February 1907, becomes partner and managed the company until he died on 26th December 1986.
Willy Schaerf joins the company as authorised signatory and is co-responsible for the progress of the company until 1971.
21st June 1948: After the war, production of the original SOMSO® Modelle starts in Coburg.
18th December 1952: Take-over of Messrs Marcus Sommer, Sonneberg, Thuringia. The property is expropiated and becomes a stateowned company.
Modeller Edgar Froeber, born 6th October 1919, joins the company. During his 40 years with the company, he plays a significant role in Coburg. Creating a large number of botanical and zoological SOMSO® Modelle.
25th March 1954: Re-introduction of the old company name Marcus Sommer, SOMSO Werkstaetten in Coburg
Start of the scientific consultation by Christian Gross, Director of Studies from Dillingen, in the area of zoological models and the development of a new series of true-to-life animal sculptures.
17th November 1960: The start of the first stage of construction of the premises in Coburg-Neuses
Start of the scientific consultation by Professor Dr. Walter Jung of the Institute of Palaeontology and Historical Geology of the University of Munich, within the framework of developing botanical models
1st September 1963 Hans Sommer, born on 18th December 1944, joins the company
Collaboration with the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology, Munich
Start of cooperation with Dr. Eberhard Schicha, within the context of the development of insect models.
Biological Model Maker Gerhard Weber, born on 10th November 1919, provides excellent services over 33 years as Head of the Painting Department and modeller.
The entire Sommer family, Marcus and Lotte Sommer with their children Traute and Hans Sommer, work at the company.
Manufacturing of the CLA Training Phantoms, which are responsibly designed by the biological model makers Dietrich Krauß (who joined the company on 1st August 1955) and Rudolf Galle (who joined the company on 1st August 1968)
Start of the scientific consultation by Professor Dr. med Dr. med h.c. Johannes W. Rohen, Anatomical Institute of the University of Erlangen for anatomical models and the development of a new series of dismantled models of the skull and the brain
Collaboration with Professor Dr. Christian Vogel and afterwards with Professor Dr. Hartmut Rothe, Institute of Anthropology, University of Göttingen
Start of the collaboration with Professor Dr. med. John A. Nakhosteen within the framework of developing thorax models and medical training phantoms.
Start of the collaboration with Professor Dr.Wilhelm Weber, Reutlingen, in the development of botanical models.
Since 1988, SOMSO® Modelle have been advertised under the slogan "Nature is our Model" (photo: Rudi Schumann, an exceptional painter for over 36 years).
Start of the scientific consultation by Professor Dr. Helmut Waibl, Director Emeritus of the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, within the framework of developing SOMSO® Modelle for veterinary medicine
2nd January 1990 - After 40 years, visit at the expropriated parent company in Sonneberg/Th. for the first time - production is resumed - retransfer on 18th December 1992.
Start of the consultation by Mrs Petra Fischer, Head School Nurse of the Leipzig Medical School, in the areas of baby care and paediatric nursing care
Scientific co-operation commences with Professor Dr. med. Wolfgang Schmidt and Dr. med. Werner Scheller, Anatomical Institute, University of Leipzig.
29th April to 15th October 1999: Special exhibition in the Deutsches Museum, Munich: “Medical-biological Models made in Plastic“
17th July 2001: 125th Anniversary of SOMSO® Modelle
17th July 2001 Opening of the SOMSO® MUSEUM at the parent company in Sonneberg, Thuringia
1st January 2007: Marcus Sommer Somso Modelle GmbH Conversion of the legal form of the company to GmbH (Limited Liability Company) With this change, the fifth generation are now partners and the tradition of family business, established in 1876, can continue. Petra, Ina, Anne, and Louis-Benedikt Sommer with Hans Sommer
4th May to 7th October 2012: Exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist” – The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
Start of the scientific consultation by Professor Dr. Uwe Hoßfeld of the Didactics of Biology research group at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, within the framework of developing biological models
As of 2017, the 5th generation, represented by Managing Director Dipl.-Betriebswirt (FH) Louis-Benedikt Sommer, has been more and more taking over responsibility for the day-to-day business from his father, Managing Director Hans Sommer.
On 8.09.2021, our affiliated company CLA® Coburger Lehrmittelanstalt celebrates its 50th anniversary. CLA® offers an extensive and high-quality range of medical exercise phantoms and nursing dummies.
17th July 1876:Foundation of the company in Sonneberg, Thuringia, by Marcus Sommer Snr. Born: 14th November 1845; Died: 21st January 1899