History of the Microscope
Introduction to Research with Early Microscopes
Note that all these pages have been reconstructed and the
images have been updated by new scans from the originals.
(LEFT) Candles and oil-lamps: how the pioneers made their observations
When investigating the original experiments, it is important to understand the limits
imposed by available equipment. In this example, an early achromatic microscope is
used to image contemporaneous specimens using only a candle-flame as illuminant.
(RIGHT) Transverse section of maize under a simple
This early experiment demonstrated the revealing images which a single lens can provide.
Here, a hand-cut section of Zea mais is imaged through a biconvex lens. Examples were
published in some early papers on the use of simple microscopes, listed in a bibliography.
You can now go to the following pages:
Extract from a
van Leeuwenhoek bibliography
images a single lens can create
original Leeuwenhoek microscopes
Leeuwenhoek microscope reveals
to the Leeuwenhoek specimens
Leeuwenhoek specimens were handled
Leeuwenhoek microscope revealed blood cells
electron microscope of Leeuwenhoek material
See also paper on Leeuwenhoek as experimental biologist.
Many of these pages are each illustrated with
colour images of the research in progress.