Life Science Solutions

The Birth of Microscopes Overseas

The microscope was invented by the Dutch spectacle maker Zaccharias Janssen around 1590. This was the time when Toyotomi Hideyoshi was unifying Japan into a single nation.
In 1655, the Englishman Robert Hooke produced a "compound microscope" that included an objective lens and an eyepiece lens. In 1665, he published Micrographia, the first book describing observations of a variety of organisms made through his microscope. In this book, Hooke named the numerous compartments partitioned by walls as "cells." The discovery of cells triggered the microscope's rapid advancement.
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek of Holland made his own simple microscopes using a single lens, which lead to his discovery of red blood cells in 1673, as well as the discovery of bacteria and human sperm.
Efforts to improve the microscope were made primarily in England in the 18th and 19th centuries. Microscopes developed by Leitz and Zeiss, both German companies, became popular in the last half of the 19th century and onward.

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