Eye-glass makers, Astronomers and Microbiologists
Who invented the first compound microscope? Several different scientists are credited with either inventing this piece of equipment or improving it.
Zacharias Janssen - Dutch eyeglasses-maker (1580-1638) is generally credited with the invention. He experimented on several designs with multiple lenses housed in a long tube. The tubes slid within each other improving the focus and resolution of the object.
Hans Lippershey - German-Dutch lensmaker (1570–1619) is credited with the invention of the telescope and possibly the compound microscope.
Cornelius Drebbel - Dutch scientist (1572-1633) learned lens grinding and optics from Lippershey and Jansen. A Dutch ambassador credited Drebbel with the invention of the compound microscope.
Galileo Galilei - Italian astronomer (1564-1642) sent a two-lens microscope to a scientist in Rome who examined bees and published his results. Galileo's instrument was more advanced and finely tuned.
Anton van Leeuwenhoek - Dutch scientist (1632-1723) and the first acknowledged microbiologist. He spent his life building microscopes and examining objects like yeast, bacteria and water organisms. He published his works by letters to the Royal Society of England and the French Academy.
Robert Hooke - English scientist and architect (1635-1703) coined the word "cell" to confirm van Leeuwenhoek's tiny organisms. Hooke improved on van Leeuwenhoek's microscope design.
Charles A. Spencer - American microscope designer and manufacturer (1813-1881) produced a catalog of microscopes, telescopes and other instruments. He might be considered an industrialist who mass produced compound microscopes.