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Who what where how and when was Anton van Leeuwenhoek?


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May 09, 2013 6:11AM

Short Answer:

Anton van Leeuwenhoek invented a method for making small spherical lenses that much increased the magnification of simple microscopes. He discovered single celled microorganisms and other microscopic structures. He advanced the design of the simple microscope.

The compound microscope was invented 40 years before Anton van Leeuwenhoek was born. He used a simple one lens microscope.


Anton van Leeuwenhoek, (October 24, 1632 -- August 26, 1723) is known as "the Father of Microbiology". He was from Delft, Netherlands. He was not trained in science, but was originally a tradesman.

The date is not know precisely, but around 1670, more than half a century after the discovery of the compound microscope, van Leeuwenhoek discovered a way to make small lenses of very high magnification that went significantly beyond the capability of existing microscopes.

He is considered to be the first microbiologist because of his scientific discoveries made possible by his enhanced microscopes. He was the first person to observe and describe single celled organisms. He was a contemporary of Robert Hook and the two men share some credit for establishing that living things were made of cells.

Beyond the initial discovery of the method for making small spherical lenses, van Leeuwenhoek made over 500 optical lenses (though they did not necessarily become 500 different microscopes) and can be said to have built at least 25 variations on his basic design of the microscope.