Antony van Leeuwenhoek is one of the most well known figures in the history of microscopy. He is particularly known for two achievements: his single-lens microscopes, the best of which was able to resolve objects down to 1 micrometre (a thousandth of a millimetre), and being the first human to explore the microcosm – the world of single-cell organisms such as algae and bacteria. It is for the latter that he is often ascribed the sobriquet of ‘The Father of Microbiology’.
A quick note: the title of this post is perhaps a bit false – this post will actually only give a brief history of the founding of the Microscopical Society of London. The Microscopical Society of London was the original name of what is now known as the Royal Microscopical Society. I hope to do a number of posts about the society, which is a very important learned society founded to promote,
microscopical investigation, and for the introduction and improvement of the Microscope as a scientific instrument .
So this week I want to introduce a new project I’m starting: an interactive timeline of the history of microscopy. The idea behind this is to slowly build up an educational resource that documents key events and people in the history of microscopy. Eventually this timeline will go from the first compound microscopes, through electron and fluorescence microscopy and right up to modern techniques such as lightsheet and super-resolution.