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Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek is considered the father of microscopy because of the advances he made in microscope design and use.
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
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Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
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Anton Van Leeuwenhoek's
The History of Microscopes
By Mary Bellis

The father of microscopy, Anton Van Leeuwenhoek of Holland (1632-1723), started as an apprentice in a dry goods store where magnifying glasses were used to count the threads in cloth. Anton van Leeuwenhoek was inspired by the glasses used by drapers to inspect the quality of cloth. He taught himself new methods for grinding and polishing tiny lenses of great curvature which gave magnifications up to 270x diameters, the finest known at that time.

These lenses led to the building of Anton Van Leeuwenhoek's microscopes considered the first practical microscopes, and the biological discoveries for which he is famous. Anton Van Leeuwenhoek was the first to see and describe bacteria (1674), yeast plants, the teeming life in a drop of water, and the circulation of blood corpuscles in capillaries. During a long life he used his lenses to make pioneer studies on an extraordinary variety of things, both living and non-living, and reported his findings in over a hundred letters to the Royal Society of England and the French Academy.

"My work, which I've done for a long time, was not pursued in order to gain the praise I now enjoy, but chiefly from a craving after knowledge, which I notice resides in me more than in most other men. And therewithal, whenever I found out anything remarkable, I have thought it my duty to put down my discovery on paper, so that all ingenious people might be informed thereof." - Anton Van Leeuwenhoek Letter of June 12, 1716

None of Anton Van Leeuwenhoek's microscopes exist today. His instruments were made of gold and silver and were sold by his family after he died, none have been recovered.

Continue with >>> The History of Microscopes

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