3 microscopes

The History Of The Microscope

  • May 23, 1000

    CIRCA 1000AD

    The first vision aid was invented, though unknown who by. This invention was called the reading stone. It was a glass sphere which magnified reading materials.
  • Period: May 24, 1000 to


  • May 24, 1284

    CIRCA 1284

    The first wearable eye glasses were invented by italian, Salvino D'Aarmate.
  • 1590

    Two dutch eyeglass makers, Zaccharias Janssen and son, Hans Janssens observed that viewing objects in front of a tube enlarged the appeared object. This then created both the forerunner of the compound microscope and the telescope.
  • 1665

    Robert Hooke observed a silver of cork through a microscope lens and noticed 'pores' and 'cells' in it,
  • 1674

    Anton van Leeuwenhoek built a simple microscope with just lens to observe and examine blood, yeast, insects and other smaller obects.
  • 18th Century

    Technical innovations improved microscopes, triggering the popularity of microscopy. Lenses combining two types of glass reduced the "chromatic effect" the disturbing halos resulting from differences in refraction of light.
  • 1830

    Joseph Jackson Lister reduces spherical aberration or the "chromatic effect".
  • 1872

    Ernst Abbe, then research director of the Zeiss Optical Works, wrote a mathematical formula called the "Abbe Sine Condition".
  • 1903

    Richard Zsigmondy developed the ultramicroscope that could study objects below the wavelength of light
  • 1931

    Ernst Ruska co-invented the electron microscope for which he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. An electron microscope depends on electrons rather than light to view an object, electrons are speeded up in a vacuum until their wavelength is extremely short, only one hundred-thousandth that of white light. Electron microscopes make it possible to view objects as small as the diameter of an atom.
  • 1932

    Frits Zernike invented the phase-contrast microscope that allowed for the study of colorless and transparent biological materials for which he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1953.
  • 1981

    Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer invented the scanning tunneling microscope that gives three-dimensional images of objects down to the atomic level. Binnig and Rohrer won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. The powerful scanning tunneling microscope is the strongest microscope to date.