The Cell Theory Timeline

  • 400


    Time- 350 B.C.E.
    Aristotle was known for his numerous dissections. He was drawn to animal classification to try and connect the human soul to the human body. This classification classified animals by how complex their inner organs and systems were.
  • 400

    Ancient Egyptians

    Ancient Egyptians
    Around 4000 B.C.E.
    Ancient Egyptians discovered many things about the complexity and function of the human body through mummification. This contributes to the cell theory by showing the complexity of the function of cells in living things, or humans.
  • Period: 400 to


  • 476

    Midievil Europeans

    Midievil Europeans
    Midievil Europeans contributed to science in many ways, including biology, physics, and botany. Although they had no specific contribution to the cell theory they paved the way for modern science.
  • Jan 1, 1543

    Andreas Vesalius

    Andreas Vesalius
    Andreas Vesalius was a well known physician and anatomist. He studied the human body, focusing on the brain and nervous system a lot. His studies helped people learn how the human body functioned.
  • Hans and Zacharias Janssen

    Hans and Zacharias Janssen
    Hans and Zacharias Janssen were known for inventing the compound optical microscope. This contributed to the cell theory by making it easier and more practical to observe cells.
  • Robert Hooke

    Robert Hooke
    Robert Hooke discoved cells. He discovered them while looking at a piece of cork. He then saw tiny "pores" that he thought could have been from the tree when it was alive. Later Hooke started studing plants and came up with the idea of cells. This is the biggest contribution to the cell theory because without Hooke cells may not have been discovered for hundreds of more years.
  • Francesco Redi

    Francesco Redi
    Francesco Redi perfromed an experiment that disproved spontanious generation. To do this he put meat in a closed jar to show that the maggots would not just be. This had a major contribution to the cell theory and is considered one of the rules of the cell theory: all cells are produced from pre-existing cells.
  • Anton van Leeuwenhoek

    Anton van Leeuwenhoek
    Anton van Leeuwenhoek built and improved microscopes. While observing pond water he discovered single-celled organisms that he called animalcules. He also was one of the first people to observe bacteria cells. This contributed to the cell theory by discovering organisms with one cell
  • John Needham

    John Needham
    John Needham was a catholic priest who tried to prove the existance of spontaneous generation. His experiment was later disproved which helped the cell theory become more accepted.
  • Lazzaro Spallanzani

    Lazzaro Spallanzani
    Lazzaro Spallanzani was an Italian Catholic Priest and biologist. He studied the theory of spontaneous generation of cellular life and helped disprove it. He also said that microbes could be killed through boiling. His work paved the way for Lois Pasteur.
  • Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

    Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
    Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was a famous biologist. One of his most famous works was seperating the insect class into different parts. He helped the cell theory by stating an idea which was: "no body can have life unless its constitute parts are cellular tissue or consist of cellular tissue."
  • Lorenz Oken

    Lorenz Oken
    Lorenz Oken belived in the cell theory, but he had his own take on it. He believed that there were tiny units of life called infusoria that make up the human skin, bones, and organs. Oken's very similar, but different at the same time helped spread the cell theory.
  • Robert Brown

    Robert Brown
    Robert Brown was a well known Scottish botanist. He discovered the cell nucleus while looking at a plant cell. This was a contribution to the cell theory because it showed that all living things were made of one or more cells.
  • Theodor Schwann

    Theodor Schwann
    Theodor Schwann was a founder of the cell theory. When he was talking to one of his colleagues about plant nuclei he realized that cells must be produced from pre-existing cells and that all living things are produced of cells.
  • Matthias Schleiden

    Matthias Schleiden
    Matthias Schleiden was a co-founder of the cell theory. He helped contribute to the cell theory by publishing a book about leaves being composed by cells.
  • Louis Pasteur

    Louis Pasteur
    Louis Pasteur contributed to the cell theory by disproving spontaneous generation. He was the first scientist to prove that cells can only form from pre-existing cells. He did this by creating an experiment that showed cells would only grow in broth if air was exposed.
  • Period: to

    Cell Theory Timeline

  • Rudolf Virchow

    Rudolf Virchow
    Rudolf Virchow is known for stating that the only source for a cell to be produced is from another cell. To prove this he repeated Redi's experiment. He contributed to the cell theory by publishing a book titled "Every Cell Originates From Another Existing Cell Like It."