The Invention of Steam Sterilzation

125 years of innovations


The world-wide first steam sterilizer for surgical laundry was designed and produced by Mathias Lautenschläger in 1887 - a milestone in hospital hygiene. One year later, in 1888, Mathias Lautenschläger founded F. & M. Lautenschläger.

Since then, F. & M. Lautenschläger has been a leading company in steam sterilization and steam disinfection. Innovative and high quality technologies in combination with excellent service are the basis for the good reputation of Lautenschläger products. Lautenschläger sterilizers are well-known for their durability and reliability, optimum economic and technical efficiency and highest possible sterilization safety.

The photo shows the first steam sterilizer manufactured by Mathias Lautenschläger in 1887 in Berlin. Today, this machine is part of the collection of the German Museum of Medical History in Ingolstadt. The right side shows historic Lautenschläger patents from European countries such as Romania, Switzerland and Hungary.


Milestones in Lautenschläger's Sterilization Technology

1887/88   World-wide first steam sterilizer for hospital laundry

1900         Double-door steam disinfector as room divider

1910         World-wide first completely integrated sterilizer

1920         Sterilizer with patented central bolt lock

1928         High pressure steam sterilizer, developed in cooperation with Konrich

1931         Patented laundry and textile sterilizer with air separator

1940         Patented Lautenschläger Flash-process

1967         First sterilizer control system easily changeable without tools

1972         Steam sterilizer equipped with automatic unloading blocks

1988         Cooling tower for reduced process water consumption

1996         Patented inflatable door seal system and patented steam analyzer (DMA)

2002         Optimized user-friendliness by large Color touch screens

2011         Modules for reduced utility consumption and energy integration in the CSSD

2014         Integrated electronic Bowie-Dick test

2015         Highly efficient water saving system for steam sterilizers

2017         µ-Snifflog - electronic routine control system for washer disinfectors

2020         Expanded range of pure steam generators up to 350 kW and 10 bar