The history of the microscope
The history of the microscope
The advances in histology and cytology, and biology as a whole, wouldn't have been possible without the invention of the microscope. To enlarge objects multiple times, and to be able to study these objects much more closely has contributed a great deal to science, if not the most.
The advances in histology and cytology, and biology as a whole, wouldn't have been possible without the invention of the microscope. To enlarge objects multiple times, and to be able to study these objects (cells, tissues, microorganisms and so on) much more closely has contributed a great deal to biological science, if not the most.
In the beginning of the 17th century, many historians said that the buzz around the telescope could have "overshadowed" the enthusiasm for the microscope, as cosmology and astronomy seemed to attract the interest of many more at that time. The invention of the microscope was, like for the telescope, driven by many but it is not entirely clear who built the first microscope. The idea for the microscope is said to originate from "the father of modern optics", Johannes Kepler, who was an astronomer and mathematician, and the first person that tried to describe the microscope in theory. Cornelius Drebbel was another figure, who used two convex lenses and called this "microscopium compositum". However, many say that he took the idea completely from Kepler.
The Dutch brothers Hans and Zacharias Jansen are most commonly credited with inventing the compound microscope, which is essentially a microscope with more than one lens. The first patent holder for a 3-fold magnifying telescope was a Dutch eyeglass maker Hans Lippershey. A fun fact; both Lippershey and the Janssen brothers lived in the same town working on making optical devices. Sometimes, the world is quite microscopic...
In 1609, Galileo Galilei heard about Lippershey's "Dutch magnifying glasses" and without seeing a single telescope, he built a better one that was able to magnify objects 20 times. He later converted his telescope through modifications, into a 3-fold microscope.
When looking into the historic books, one thing can be said for certain; several people contributed significantly to improve the microscope, such as the Dutch cloth merchant Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, who ultimately became an expert in producing very high-powered spherical lenses. His unique single-lens microscope could reach an impressive 270-fold magnification. He observed single-celled eukaryotes and sperm cells, and called the latter spermatozoa.
Lastly, the Englishman Robert Hooke published his astonishing work about microscopy called "Micro-graphia" in 1667, sparking huge interest in the new technique. Hooke popularized the microscope through his elaborate and detailed work that went on to be a scientific "best-seller" at that time. Hooke was also the one that coined the term "cell". The reason for this was that he saw that the cells were surrounded by membranes, or walls, in this microscope.
Craving more information about microscopy? Read an interesting summary about Immunoelectron microscopy
Feria Hikmet Noraddin