Antony van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723)

The Father of Microbiology

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’.

The History of Microscopy

An Interactive Timeline

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.