The microscope is an invention that has been around for a long time. The microscope is widely used and most people are unaware of the rich history behind its inception.
First Evidence of Microscope
The first time that history describes an item that may be considered a microscope is around 1000 AD in which a single glass lens was used to make things appear larger.
Timeline of Microscope Evolution
1590: Two eyes glass makers started to experiment with lens and tubes and soon discovered that they were able to make objects appear larger by placing different lenses into the tube. This laid the ground work for further development leading to the present day version of the microscope.
1674: This was the time in which Anton van Leeuwenhoek built a simple microscope that he used to look at insects and blood. Leeuwenhoek is considered to be the father of microscopy in Holland, and widely credited with the invention of the microscope, though several others had developed similar technology before him.
18th Century: During the 18th century several inventors and scientists continued to develop microscope technology even further. The microscope quickly became an important device found in laboratories and doctor’s offices. The early 18th century experienced several minor improvements to the microscope, but the overall technology remained relatively constant.
1830: Joseph Jackson Lister came up with the idea of using several lenses to enlarge the appearance of an image while reducing or eliminating blurriness. This concept and technology was known as the compound microscope.
In the 19th century, scientists and researchers kept improving upon the work of previous generations and succeeded in increasing the magnifying power of microscopes. This advancement allowed users to view even smaller objects than ever before in great detail.
20th Century: Inventors and scientists added additional components to the microscope that would incorporate the use of reflective light to help the microscope function at a higher level than ever before. The advances made during the twentieth century are the most recent major technological changes to microscopy as we know it today.
Major Inventions that Improved the Microscope
* Eyeglasses invented in 1285 became the first tool that included the use of a lens to enable people to make objects appear larger
* In the 1600s the microscope could only be used to see opaque objects
* In 1823 the first achromatic lens was introduced which allowed viewers to see a resolution of 1 micron while looking through a microscope
* Around 1880, light was first used in order to enhance the object that people were seeing through the microscope
* By 1880, the advancement of microscope technology reached an all time high and was considered one of the greatest scientific inventions of that time
* 1904: The first commercial microscope that utilized UV rays was made available for purchase and use by the general public
The microscope is still commonly used by doctors, scientists and everyday people. The microscope technology available today is light years beyond that of earlier centuries. The microscope will remain an integral component to scientific research and the practice of medicine throughout the world.