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Optical Microscopes
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Optical Microscopes

A. Leeuwenhoek The first powerful magnifier was probably made by Anthony Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) while working with magnifying glasses in a dry goods store. He used the magnifying glass to count threads in woven cloth. He became so interested that he learned how to make lenses. By grinding and polishing, he was able to make small lenses with great curvatures. These rounder lenses produced greater magnification, and his microscopes were able to magnify up to 270X. Because it had only one lens, Leeuwenhoek's microscope is now referred to as a single-lens microscope. Its convex glass lens was attached to a metal holder and was focused using screws. With such microscope, he discovered microorganisms - bacteria, yeast, blood cells and many tiny animals swimming about in a drop of water - thereby founding the science of microbiology and providing the basis for the development of the germ theory of disease. From his great contributions, many discoveries and research papers, Anthony Leeuwenhoek has since been called the "Father of Microscopy".

Figure 1 Anthony van Leeuwenhoek[view large image]