Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek was born in Holland on October 24, 1632.Dutch is his primary language.All his life his family didnt have a lot of money, As a result of that he didnt have enough money to attend college.At the age of 22 he returned home where he stayed until he died. Instead he created his own buisness as a draper,he sold fabric.On top that not only did he own his own buisness selling fabric he also had some unusual jobs on the side.He worked as a surveyor,and a city official.He also took over one of his good friends estate buisnees after the man died.
One thing in his favor is that he learned a valuable trade. He learned to grind lenses. This skill came in handy. He used it to make simple microscopes. He started to observe things with them. He got interested in microscopes after seeing a book by Robert Hooke. Hooke had invented a simple microscope. His book included pictures that fascinated Leeuwenhoek.Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was a renowned scientist of the seventeenth century whose pioneering research works, laid the founding stone for emergence of microbiology as a stream. Hailed as the ‘Father of Microbiology’ this talented biologist chanced upon scientific research by mere coincidence. Antonie was a young entrepreneur, who established his own linen business and in search of a high quality magnifying lens, to be used for inspection of thread used in the linen, ended up devising a new technique of creating lens which can provide magnification up to 500 times. Upon encouragement from friend and physician Graaf, Antonie used the improved design of microscope to make many significant discoveries, which laid the foundation for evolution of microbiology. Beginning with identifying the first bacteria to describing the structure of RBC’s to the detailed study of deadly disease he suffered from; this eminent scientist contributed to scientific advancement even in his death. As more of his works began to get published his repertoire increased exponentially; he was visited by many eminent personalities throughout his lifetime which include the likes of Russian Tsar Peter the Great, German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Prince William III of England. Though this expert lens man shared his findings with the public, he preferred to work alone and kept the technique of making high precision microscope a closely guarded secret until his death. Read on to know more about his works and achievements
Antonie and his four elder siblings lost their father at quite an early age and their mother remarried after Philips’ demise. The young lad went to school for a short while in Leyden but then had to move to his uncle’s place in Benthuizen.
At the tender age of sixteen Leeuwenhoek was engaged in a draper’s shop in Amsrterdam where he learnt the ropes of the trade. Eventually he returned to his native city of Delft in the mid-1650s and went on to establish himself as a fabric merchant.
As the popularity of his linen store increased so did Antonie’s status in the society. He decided to utilize his new found fame to participate in the municipal politics. In 1660, he was granted the title of chamberlain and in this capacity he was in charge of managing the Delft sheriffs’ assembly chamber. Later he would hold the positions of surveyor and wine gauger.
Leeuwenhoek used magnifying glasses for inspecting the quality of thread in his draper linen but he was not satisfied with the magnification provided by the available lenses. Thus he started making his own lenses and with time and expertise he devised microscopes that are believed to provide magnification of up to 500 times.
Armed with these powerful magnifying devices, he started recording his observations of minute creatures such as molds and lice. His friend Reinier de Graaf, who was a physician, encouraged Antonie to pursue his study of minute organisms and even helped establish a correspondence between the Royal Society in London and Leeuwenhoek.
Starting in 1673, Antonie began a series of communication with the Royal Society. His first published work included his study of lice, molds and bees.
In 1674, he used his hand made microscopes to observe miniscule living objects in various water bodies, human gut. He dubbed these minute living beings as “very little animalcules”, and estimated their sizes.
This skilled lens man accounted his studies on the male gametes, in 1677. He studied specimens of Spermatozoa in insects, humans and canines.
He then made important observations regarding the human eye, striated and non-striated muscle fibers and even studied insects and plant structures and asexual reproduction in aphids