During World War I, Albert Renger-Patzsch worked from 1916 to 1918 as a research assistant in the central chemistry office of the General Staff. In 1922/23, after breaking off his study of chemistry, he was appointed director of the image department of the Folkwang publishing company archive in Darmstadt. It was around this time that he took initial photographs of botanical subjects for the book series Die Welt der Pflanze (The Plant World) planned by Ernst Fuhrmann. In 1924 he was able to keep his employment position with the Auriga publishing house, Darmstadt (successor of the Folkwang publishing house). The following year he founded his own studio in Bad Harzburg and began specializing in photographs for advertising and industry. He became very famous through book publications such as Die Welt ist schön (The World Is Beautiful, 1928) and Eisen und Stahl (Iron and Steel, 1931). For a brief period in 1933, he headed the specialist department of ʻpictorialist photographyʼ at the Folkwang School, Essen. At the same time, he continued to carry out commissions for industrial enterprises such as the Ruhrchemie company and published photo-theoretical writings on New Objectivity. His work featured prominently in all photography exhibitions of nationwide significance. During the war years, from 1941 to 1943, on commission from Organisation Todt (the engineering organization for military defence and armaments projects), he documented the construction of the Atlantic Wall coastal defence and fortification system in Normandy and Brittany. In 1944 he lost a major portion of his archive in an air raid. After 1945 he carried out further commissions for companies such as Schubert & Salzer, the Jena Glassworks Schott, and the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim.