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Published: 10-11-2019

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Antonie van Leeuwenhoek: Biography, Discoveries, & Facts

Antony van Leeuwenhoek was born on October 24, 1632 in Delft. His father was a basket-maker, while his mother’s family were brewers. Antony went to college in the town of Warmond, then lived with his uncle in 1648 exactly where he was an apprentice in a curtain shop. About 1654 he returned to Delft, exactly where he spent the rest of his life (Waggoner). He set himself up in business as a draper he is also recognized to have worked as a guard, a wine shop and as a minor city official. In 1676 he served as the agent of the estate of the deceased and robbery in a bank Jan Vermeer, the famous painter, who had been born in the very same year as Leeuwenhoek and is thought to have been a friend of his. And at some time ahead of 1668, Antony van Leeuwenhoek learned to grind lenses, created basic microscopes, and began observing and carrying out study with them. He appears to have been inspired to take up microscopy by obtaining observed a copy of Robert Hooke’s illustrated book Micrographia, which depicted Hooke’s personal observations with the microscope and was extremely well-liked ( Waggoner).

Leeuwenhoek is recognized to have made more than 500 “microscopes,” and fewer than ten have survived to be employed these days. His most standard microscopes had been just strong magnifying glass, we use multiple glasses these days. When you compare them to modern day microscopes, they are really easy devices, employing only a single lens, that was mounted in a tiny hole in the brass plate that makes up the main portion of the microscope. Then it would be mounted on the sharp point that sticks up in front of the lens, its position and concentrate could be adjusted by turning the two screws. The entire microscope was only three-4 inches lengthy, and you had to hold it up to your eyes to use it correctly. It required very good lighting and excellent patience to get the magnification appropriate.

In 1673, Leeuwenhoek began writing letters to the Royal Society of London, sending them descriptions of what he had noticed with his microscopes ( ). His very first letter contained some its he noticed on the stings of bees. For the next fifty years he wrote back and forth with the Royal Society. His letters, of course written in Dutch, had to be translated into English or Latin and printed so they could really understand what he had written.

In a letter of September 7, 1674, Leeuwenhoek observing and discovering new life on lake water, such as an superb description of the green alge alga Spirogyra: “Passing just lately more than this lake, . . . and examining this water subsequent day, I located floating therein divers earthy particles, and some green streaks, spirally wound serpent-smart, and orderly arranged, following the manner of the copper or tin worms, which distillers use to cool their liquors as they distil more than. The complete circumference of each and every of these streaks was about the thickness of a hair of one’s head. . . all consisted of quite small green globules joined together: and there had been quite several tiny green globules as properly.”. . . my perform, which I’ve done for a lengthy time, was not pursued in order to achieve the praise I now appreciate, but chiefly from a craving following knowledge, which I notice resides in me far more than in most other men. And therewithal, anytime I identified out anything outstanding, I have thought it my duty to place down my discovery on paper, so that all indigenous individuals may be informed thereof ( Waggoner).
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