Un-applauded Eminence of Scientific Research

Zacharias Jansen and the First Compound Microscope

Today, when we say "microscope", we really actually mean "compound microscope". During the 1590’s, two Dutch spectacle makers from Middelburg, Zacharias Jansen and his father Hans experimented with these lenses. They put several lenses in a tube and made a very important discovery. Although no Jansen microscopes survived, Dutch royalty appreciated it a lot. Zacharias wrote to a Dutch diplomat, William Boreel, in the 1650’s and Boreel recounted the design of the microscope. Many investigations on the subject have been documented in his credit, before the Second World War. Many of the Middelburg archives were destroyed by a bombing of Middelburg in1940.

It was Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), a Dutch draper and scientist, who became the first man to make and use microscope in real sense. Leeuwenhoek achieved greater success than his contemporaries by developing various types of lenses and was the first to see and describe bacteria, yeast, plants, the teeming life in a drop of water, and the circulation of blood corpuscles in capillaries. Leewenhoek’s work was verified and further developed by English scientist Robert Hooke (1635 - 1703), who published the first work of microscopic studies, Micrographia, in 1665, which was his most famous work and is noticed for the stunning illustrations, drawn by Hooke himself. Many other eminent scientists conducted research on optical glass, greatly contributed to the improvement of the optical quality and development of the microscope. As a result, we have all types of microscopes right from simple microscope to highly advanced type like electron microscopes enabling scientists to carry out diverse types of research work.