Inklinometer, C. Bamberg 1897August 1st, 1840, Johann von Lamont (director of the Royal Astronomical Observatory in Munich) started regular and permanent observations of the earth's magnetic field.

In the 1850's Lamont started making regional magnetic surveys in the kingdom of Bavaria, later extended to other states in south Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Prussia and Denmark. His central European maps with isolines of geomagnetic elements, reduced to 1854, are the first worldwide.

After Lamont's death in 1879 the magnetic observations were reduced and stopped in 1886. Franz von Schwarz started a new geomagnetic observatory. His successors were Johann Baptist Messerschmitt (1902-1912) and Friedrich Biedlingmeier (1912-1914).

During the following decades the industrialisation of the Munich area produced more and more difficulties for the operation of a geomagnetic observatory. Under the directorship of Friedrich Burmeister (1919-1957) the Munich observatory was closed in 1927. Between 1927 and 1937 an auxiliary observatory was operated about 25 km west of Munich near a village called Maisach. However, the construction of a large military airport near Maisach forced another move. Measurements in Maisach were stopped on October 31st 1937.

The present site of the observatory is also west of Munich to the south of the small town Fuerstenfeldbruck. Measurements started Januar 1st 1939. The directors in the geomagnetism branch of the observatory Fuerstenfeldbruck were: Friedrich Burmeister (1939-1958), Karl Wienert (1958-1978), Martin Beblo (1978-2002).

Literature, selected papers:

  • Beblo, M. (1991) 150 years Earthmagnetic Observatories Muenchen - Maisach - Fuerstenfeldbruck. In: M. Beblo, H. Soffel (Eds.) Muenchner Geophysikalische Mitteilungen, MGM 5, Universitaet Muenchen, p. 11-18
  • Orff, C. (1882) Johann von Lamont. Akad. Buchdruckerei F. Straub, Muenchen
  • Wienert, K. (1966) 125 Jahre erdmagnetische Beobachtungen in Muenchen, Maisach und Fuerstenfeldbruck. In: G. Angenheister (Ed.) Zum 125jaehrigen Bestehen der Observatorien Muenchen - Maisach - Fuerstenfeldbruck, Geophysikalisches Observatorium Fuerstenfeldbruck, pp. 7-51