Undoubtedly, Isaac Newton was the towering intellect of the beginnings of science in Europe in the 1600's. His countryman and fellow member of the Royal Society Robert Hooke was next. Hooke did important early work not only in microscopy, but also in what we now call astronomy, paleontology, and physics, especially gravitation and mechanics. In addition, his extraordinary illustrations show that he had the hand-eye coordination and sensibilities of an artist. On the right (click to enlarge) is an illustration from Micrographia. Hooke's mind seemed to work more like Leeuwenhoek's in that he was an experimenter and observer and less like Newton's, which was able to synthesize ideas into stunning and crucially important insights.
Hooke called Newton's ideas about gravity "the greatest discovery about nature since the world's creation. It was never so much as hinted by any man before." That was in September 1689, and he could have said the same about Leeuwenhoek's work. Perhaps the microbial world was not the greatest discovery, but it was not far behind, and it definitely had never been so much as even hinted at before.
Robert Hooke was the most important person in Leeuwenhoek's scientific career. They never met, but they corresponded. Hooke was three years younger than Leeuwenhoek and died twenty years earlier. While Leeuwenhoek was still a linen merchant and civil servant, Hooke was making important contributions to a number of burgeoning philosophical (what we know call scientific) lines of inquiry. Leeuwenhoek apprenticed with a linen wholesaler in Amsterdam; Hooke apprenticed with Thomas Willis and Robert Boyle.
Also like Leeuwenhoek, Hooke had a civic career, as a surveyor after the Great Fire of 1666 among other things. They enabled him to pursue tasks as the Royal Society's Curator of Experiments at the epicenter of science at the time. For example, it wasn't until he was able to replicate Leeuwenhoek's observations of microbes for the members of the Royal Society that they accepted Leeuwenhoek's discoveries as true. This peer review is one of the cornerstones of today's scientific method.
Leeuwenhoek's first letter extended several of Hooke's observations from Micrographia. When Philosophical Transactions was suspended after the death of its founder, owner, editor, and publisher Henry Oldenburg, Hooke published five of Leeuwenhoek's letters in his short-lived journal Philosophical Collections. Hooke pushed Leeuwenhoek's election to the Royal Society. A decade later, Hooke wrote an assessment of microscopy at the end of the 17th century, and praised Leeuwenhoek as its "only living votary … besides whom none make any other use of that instrument".
Beginning in 1679, Hooke translated at least eight of Leeuwenhoek’s letters. In Letter L-118 to L. of 26 March 1682 (dated 16 March 1682 O.S.), Hooke writes, “I have not exactly followed your letter word for word in the translation, but as near as possibly I could I have expressed the true sense of your expressions.”
On 11 December 1683 O.S., he wrote in his diary, “begun to learn Dutch with Mr. Blackburne”. On the 13th December: “learnt Low Dutch”.
On 25 January 1684 O.S. he wrote that he had received a Dutch book by Nicolaas Witsen, Architectura Navalis Et Regimen Nauticum, Aaloude en hedendaagsche scheeps-bouw en bestier (Naval architecture and nautical government or ancient and contemporary shipbuilding and management).
Later, on 21 February 1684 O.S., he wrote, “Bought of Pots, Little Britain (Little Britainstreet): High Dutch bible, 2 low Dutch testaments 1 sh. Stevens mechanicks; Dutch 4 d. Dutch grammar and Dutch Corderius 3 d.”, by which he meant a Dutch translation of Colloquia Scholastica (School colloquies) by Maturinus Corderius. Hooke’s diary, kept from 1672 to 1683, is found at The London Metropolitan Archives, CLC/495/MS01758.
Along with the lost cover letter, Letter L-316 of 25 March 1697, Collected Letters, vol. 12, L. sent a copy of his Continuatio Arcanorum Naturae (Continuation of nature’s secrets), which had 15 letters, only one of them to the Society. Hooke prepared extensive summaries of all of the letters that he then read at meetings during the summer of 1697. The Royal Society and especially Hooke wanted to keep current on L.’s research, even if it did not involve them. The summaries are to be found in London, Classified papers of the Royal Society, CLP/20/89.
Letter L-063 of 10 December 1677 begins the correspondence between Hooke and Leeuwenhoek, who had addressed letters only to Henry Oldenburg (and one letter to Robert Boyle) until Oldenburg’s death in September 1677. Birch’s The History of the Royal Society of London, vol. III, p. 347, notes that on 1 November 1677 O.S., “After the reading of these papers, Mr. Hooke was ordered to return the Society’s thanks to Mr. Leewenhoeck, and to endeavour to procure farther discoveries from him by holding correspondence with him.”
Leeuwenhoek’s Letter 37  L-067 of 14 January 1678 to Hooke continues, “But I wonder that in your letter I find no mention made of my observations of the second of December, St. No. also addressed to Lord Brouncker, which makes me doubt whether the same came to your hands.” In Collected Letters, vol. 2, p. 301, L.’s Letter 36 L-061 of 2 or 3 December 1677 is noted as having been addressed to only Brouncker.
Their correspondence consists of 28 letters, 12 from Hooke to Leeuwenhoek between 1677 to 1698 and one from both Hooke and Nehemiah Grew to Leeuwenhoek and 15 from Leeuwenhoek to Hooke between 1678 and 1682.Two of them were published Philosophical Transactions, L-097 of 12 Januari 1680 and L-102 of 5 April 1680.
AvL – the 192 letters numbered by Leeuwenhoek, 165 of which he published himself
CL – Collected Letters
10 December 1677
acknowledges L.’s letter of November 1677 to William Brouncker describing sperm in human semen
11 January 1678
co-signed by Nehemiah Grew; due to ill health, William Brouncker replaced as Royal Society president by Joseph Williamson
14 January 1678
human blood; recounts de Graff’s blood transfusion from one dog to another; milk; L’s sputum; larvae of fleas; organisms in pepper water
11 February 1678
verified L.’s observations of little animals in spice infusions
28 April 1678
King Charles II saw little animals in pepper water; muscles in shellfish
lost in transit; known only by reference in letter of 20 November 1679
13 October 1679
asks for acknowledgement of previous letters; encloses extract of Letter 50 L-090 of 11 July 1679 letter to Lambert van Velthuysen; bladder-stones
27 October 1679
acknowledges previous letter; asks L. to examine fecund and sterile eggs for spots; promises to send current numbers of Philosophical Transactions
20 November 1679
sends copy of Letter 52 L-095 of 14 November 1679 letter to van Velthuysen
12 January 1680
germinal spot of an egg; various trees; movement of water in trees; sperm of various fish; diagram of circumference of oak, alder, etc. showing annual growth rings
16 January 1680
received Philosophical Collections; encloses copy of Letter 47 of 20 May 1679 to Con. Huygens; living organisms in pepper and ginger infusions
2 February 1680
asks whether L. is interested in becoming a fellow of the Society
13 February 1680
being elected fellow of the Society would be an honour
5 April 1680
rat testicles and sperm; organisms in oyster gills and sap of vines
22 April 1680
L. unanimously elected a fellow of the Society; Thomas Gale now in charge of foreign correspondence
13 May 1680
being elected fellow of the Society is an honour
14 June 1680
gratefully accepts election to the Society; acknowledges receipt of diploma
9 August 1680
asks whether the Society received previous letters; promises to investigate formation of blood
12 November 1680
fermenting wine; comparing yeast cells and red blood cells; particles in rain-water; chyle from cow; fat globules in milk; composition of urine; particles in air; function of the heart and circulation of blood; tracheae of fly, flea, cockroach; copulation of cockchafers and dragonflies; sperm of grasshopper, gnat, flea, fly; mites; calculation of number of micro-organisms in a grain of sand
4 July 1681
members of the Society thank L. for two previous letters and will have them published; Hooke concerned that L. has not had proper answers to his letters and promises to do better in the future
4 November 1681
hog’s bristle; shedding hair; blackheads; L.’s own faeces when he had diarrhoea; microorganisms in human faeces and other animals; structure of clay; possibility that a blood transfusion can cure gout
members of the Society thank L. for two previous letters and will publish them
3 March 1682
muscle fibres of mammals and fishes; falling out of hairs; hair growth on L.’s own hand; discovery of the cell nucleus in fish blood cells; liver of salmons; ciliar motion of oyster beards; structure and growth of oyster shells
20 March 1682
sends Philosophical Collections, nos. 4 and 5; praises and encourages L.’s discoveries about muscles, which agree with his own
26 March 1682
L.’s observations of shellfish muscles well received by the Society and concur with his own
4 April 1682
structure of muscle tissue of lobster and shrimp
28 July 1682
known only by reference in Letter 70  of 22 January 1683 to Wren
9 June 1698
discusses L.’s recent letters; sending copies of L.’s missing numbers of Philosophical Transactions; encourages L.’s continuing research
No portraits of Hooke survive.
The existence of microscopic organisms was discovered during the period 1665-83 by two Fellows of The Royal Society, Robert Hooke and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek. In Micrographia (1665), Hooke presented the first published depiction of a microganism, the microfungus Mucor.Who had a better microscope Hooke or Leeuwenhoek? ›
Although the craftsmanship and the design of the Hooke microscope were excellent, it failed to provide good optical performance than the Leeuwenhoek microscope.How did Robert Hooke and Anton van Leeuwenhoek help discover the cell? ›
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek and The Cell Theory
In 1665, Robert Hooke discovered cells in cork for the first time. Leeuwenhoek wanted to go smaller than cork cells. He began to analyze human tissue for cells. He was most well known for his discovery of protozoa in 1674.
Q: What did Antonie van Leeuwenhoek contribute to the cell theory? He was the first person to examine many cells, including red blood cells. He was also the first person to see the nucleus of these blood cells. Before him, the notion of cells as the building blocks of living things was not widely accepted.Who discovered cell Robert Hooke or Anton van Leeuwenhoek? ›
The cell was first discovered and named by ROBERT HOOKE in 1665.Did Hooke and Leeuwenhoek influence one another's research? ›
“The design of the hand-held microscope that Leeuwenhoek used throughout his researches was derived from Hooke's published account,” Ford concludes. Hooke noted in several publications that using this kind of microscope strained his eyes, ex- plaining why he preferred larger microscopes with two lenses.How did the inventions of Leeuwenhoek differ from that of Robert Hooke? ›
Van Leeuwenhoek is largely credited with the discovery of microbes, while Hooke is credited as the first scientist to describe live processes under a microscope.When did Leeuwenhoek and Hooke invent the first microscopes? ›
The first compound microscopes date to 1590, but it was the Dutch Antony Van Leeuwenhoek in the mid-seventeenth century who first used them to make discoveries. When the microscope was first invented, it was a novelty item.What was Leeuwenhoek best known for? ›
Leeuwenhoek is universally acknowledged as the father of microbiology. He discovered both protists and bacteria . More than being the first to see this unimagined world of 'animalcules', he was the first even to think of looking—certainly, the first with the power to see.What are the importance of observation made by Hooke and Van Leeuwenhoek? ›
Answer and Explanation:
The observations of Hooke and Van Leeuwenhoek were revolutionary discoveries in microbiology. Fabricating and using microscopes in the science field became one of the fundamentals. Infectious disease-causing organisms were studied and vaccinations were produced to cure the diseases.
Although Hooke did not make his own microscopes, he was heavily involved with the overall design and optical characteristics. The microscopes were actually made by London instrument maker Christopher Cock, who enjoyed a great deal of success due to the popularity of this microscope design and Hooke's book.What did Robert Hooke discover cells on? ›
While observing cork through his microscope, Hooke saw tiny boxlike cavities, which he illustrated and described as cells. He had discovered plant cells! Hooke's discovery led to the understanding of cells as the smallest units of life—the foundation of cell theory.Why is Leeuwenhoek known as the father of the microscope even though he did not invent the microscope? ›
Leeuwenhoek's work on his tiny lenses led to the building of his microscopes, considered the first practical ones. They bore little resemblance to today's microscopes, however; they were more like very high-powered magnifying glasses and used only one lens instead of two.What did Antonie van Leeuwenhoek call his discovery? ›
Using single-lensed microscopes of his own design and make, Van Leeuwenhoek was the first to observe and to experiment with microbes, which he originally referred to as dierkens, diertgens or diertjes (Dutch for "small animals" [translated into English as animalcules, from Latin animalculum = "tiny animal"]).What important theory is based on the observations of Hooke and van Leeuwenhoek documenting the existence of microscopic cells? ›
Question: The observations of Hooke and van Leeuwenhoek documenting the existence of microscopic cells formed the basis of what important theory? A The theory of spontaneous generation, which held that life forms could arise spontaneously.Was Robert Hooke the first person to discover cells? ›
History of the Cell: Discovering the Cell
Initially discovered by Robert Hooke in 1665, the cell has a rich and interesting history that has ultimately given way to many of today's scientific advancements.
And both are due to his bitter disputes with Isaac Newton, who is said to have made great efforts to extirpate the achievements of his late arch-rival Hooke when he became president of the Royal Society.What was the innovation that allowed Leeuwenhoek and Hooke to see things smaller than anyone had ever seen before? ›
They had just invented the compound microscope. That is to say, they had discovered that an image magnified by a single lens can be further magnified by a second or more lenses. Then, in the mid 17th century, an Englishman, Robert Hooke and a Dutchman, Anthony Van Leeuwenhoek took the microscope to new levels.Who was Robert Hooke influenced by? ›
Hooke's microscopical inspiration was a series of insect drawings that Wren had given to Charles II, and he was probably further prompted by Power's observations, also made with a Reeve compound instrument.What 3 things did Leeuwenhoek discover? ›
It was he who discovered bacteria, free-living and parasitic microscopic protists, sperm cells, blood cells, microscopic nematodes and rotifers, and much more. His researches, which were widely circulated, opened up an entire world of microscopic life to the awareness of scientists.
The cell walls observed by Hooke gave no indication of the nucleus and other organelles found in most living cells. The first man to witness a live cell under a microscope was Anton van Leeuwenhoek, who in 1674 described the algae Spirogyra. Van Leeuwenhoek probably also saw bacteria.Why was the microscope an important tool for early scientists such as Hooke and van Leeuwenhoek? ›
In the late 1600s, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch lens maker and scientist, started making much stronger microscopes. His microscopes could magnify objects as much as 270 times their actual size. Van Leeuwenhoek made many scientific discoveries using his microscopes. He was the first to see and describe bacteria.When did Leeuwenhoek discover the cell theory? ›
In 1678, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek reported that he had observed "little animals" — protozoa — through a microscope. The discovery of the cell was made possible by the invention of the microscope, which was made possible by improved lens-grinding techniques.Did Leeuwenhoek invent the simple microscope? ›
Van Leeuwenhoek is also credited with the invention of the simple microscope which uses only one magnifying lens, which was much better that the compound microscope at the time.Who is Anton Leeuwenhoek and why is he important to microscopes? ›
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek used single-lens microscopes, which he made, to make the first observations of bacteria and protozoa. His extensive research on the growth of small animals such as fleas, mussels, and eels helped disprove the theory of spontaneous generation of life.What microscope did Leeuwenhoek invent? ›
The main body of these microscopes consists of two flat and thin metal (usually brass) plates riveted together. Sandwiched between the plates was a small bi-convex lens capable of magnifications ranging from 70x to over 250x, depending upon the lens quality. Operation of the Leeuwenhoek microscope is simple.Who is father of microscopy? ›
Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723): father of microscopy.Who invented the first microscope? ›
It's not clear who invented the first microscope, but the Dutch spectacle maker Zacharias Janssen (b. 1585) is credited with making one of the earliest compound microscopes (ones that used two lenses) around 1600. The earliest microscopes could magnify an object up to 20 or 30 times its normal size.What were the major contributions of Hooke and Leeuwenhoek to cell biology quizlet? ›
Hooke first observed dead plants cells in 1665 using an early light microscope. Leeuwenhoek used highly precise hand lens microscope first observed living things.What was the importance of observations made by Hooke and van Leeuwenhoek quizlet? ›
2. Hooke's observations laid the groundwork for development of the cell theory, the concept that all living things are composed of cells. 3. Anton van Leeuwenhoek, using a simple microscope, was the first to observe microorganisms (1673).
Hooke looked at thin slices of cork under a microscope. The structure he saw looked like a honeycomb as it was made up of many tiny units.Who is the father of cell? ›
Nobel laureate Dr. George Emil Palade is considered to be the father of cell biology.What did Hooke and Leeuwenhoek discover about cells? ›
The existence of microscopic organisms was discovered during the period 1665–83 by two Fellows of The Royal Society, Robert Hooke and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek. In Micrographia (1665), Hooke presented the first published depiction of a microrganism, the microfungus Mucor.What did Hooke and Leeuwenhoek discover about cells by using a microscope? ›
Summary. Before the development of microscopes, the existence of cellular life was unknown. By examining a piece of cork, Robert Hooke first saw and named cells. Antony van Leeuwenhoek was the first person to see living cells.Who first discovered cells? ›
Initially discovered by Robert Hooke in 1665, the cell has a rich and interesting history that has ultimately given way to many of today's scientific advancements.What did van Leeuwenhoek call the first cells he saw? ›
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek is known as the 'Father of Microbiology. ' He was the first to observe single-cell organisms that he called 'animalcules.What happened to van Leeuwenhoek's microscopes? ›
The auction. Two years after Maria van Leeuwenhoek (1656–1745) died, her father's collection of microscopes was sold by auction at the St Lucas Gilde in Delft. Two versions of the catalogue have survived (Rees 1747).What was van Leeuwenhoek's disease? ›
Sir, Van Leeuwenhoek's disease, commonly known as diaphragmatic myoclonus, diaphragmatic flutter, moving umbilicus syndrome, or dancing-belly syndrome, is a high-frequency, involuntary, non-suppressible, distressful contraction of diaphragmatic muscles .What was the first organism to ever be viewed under a microscope? ›
The existence of microscopic organisms was discovered during the period 1665-83 by two Fellows of The Royal Society, Robert Hooke and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek. In Micrographia (1665), Hooke presented the first published depiction of a microganism, the microfungus Mucor.Did Anton van Leeuwenhoek discover blood cells in 1670? ›
In 1678, the red blood corpuscles was described by Jan Swammerdam of Amsterdam, a Dutch naturalist and physician. The first complete account of the red cells was made by Anthony van Leeuwenhoek of Delft in the last quarter of the 17th century.
Van Leeuwenhoek is largely credited with the discovery of microbes, while Hooke is credited as the first scientist to describe live processes under a microscope.What was the importance of observation made by Hooke Ana Anton van Leeuwenhoek? ›
Through his microscopic observations of organisms such as bacteria and protozoa, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek effectively began the discipline of microbiology. His studies of insects, mollusks, and fish showed that these animals did not begin their life cycle with spontaneous generation, from nonliving matter.What is Anton van Leeuwenhoek associated with? ›
Leeuwenhoek is universally acknowledged as the father of microbiology. He discovered both protists and bacteria . More than being the first to see this unimagined world of 'animalcules', he was the first even to think of looking—certainly, the first with the power to see.Who are the two scientists credited with discovering cells? ›
The cell was first discovered by Robert Hooke in 1665 using a microscope. The first cell theory is credited to the work of Theodor Schwann and Matthias Jakob Schleiden in the 1830s.What important theory was formed by the observations of Hooke and van Leeuwenhoek documenting the existence of microscopic cells? ›
The observations of Hooke, Leeuwenhoek, Schleiden, Schwann, Virchow, and others led to the development of the cell theory. The cell theory is a widely accepted explanation of the relationship between cells and living things. The cell theory states: All living things or organisms are made of cells and their products.What did Hooke discover? ›
English physicist Robert Hooke is known for his discovery of the law of elasticity (Hooke's law), for his first use of the word cell in the sense of a basic unit of organisms (describing the microscopic cavities in cork), and for his studies of microscopic fossils, which made him an early proponent of a theory of ...What was invented by van Leeuwenhoek? › What did Robert Hooke first see? ›
Abstract. Microorganisms were first observed by Robert Hooke and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek between 1665 and 1678. In 1665, Hooke published Micrographia, which depicted the details of 60 objects as seen in the microscope. One chapter was devoted to the microfungus Mucor, the first microbe observed by the human eye.Is Robert Hooke the father of microscope? ›
Hooke's reputation in the history of biology largely rests on his book Micrographia, published in 1665. Hooke devised the compound microscope and illumination system shown above, one of the best such microscopes of his time, and used it in his demonstrations at the Royal Society's meetings.Who was the first man to discover cells? ›
Initially discovered by Robert Hooke in 1665, the cell has a rich and interesting history that has ultimately given way to many of today's scientific advancements.
|Robert Hooke||Discovered cells|
|Anton Van Leuwenhoek||Discovered protozoa and bacteria|
|Robert Brown||Discovered cell nucleus|
|Albert Von Kolliker||Discovered mitochondria|
The first man to witness a live cell under a microscope was Anton van Leeuwenhoek, who in 1674 described the algae Spirogyra.