Microscopes have been around for hundreds of years and are now used in schools, research, and biology. Microscopes are mechanized instruments that scientists have used to study small objects under a microscope. These objects range from the smallest bacteria to trees and plants and even human cells. Without microscopes, humans wouldn’t be able to study these small things as thoroughly as they do now.

Timeline of Microscopes

The earliest microscopes were invented in the 1300s by the Chinese. The earliest known microscope was built in 1502 by a man named Jaufre Rudel. It was built to help him examine a piece of paper. It wasn’t until the 1500s that scientists used microscopes for research. A man named Hans Lippershey designed a microscope lens that allowed it to magnify objects greatly. This microscope was the first of its kind to be used for scientific research. 

Next, a Dutch scientist named Antony van Leeuwenhoek began to make more improvements on the microscope. He made a better lens for the microscope and studied different things with it. He studied algae, bacteria, and the constituents of blood. Leeuwenhoek’s discovery of red blood cells pushed the idea that blood was oxygenated because it was full of red cells instead of black and looked like air under the microscope.

Then in the 1600s, microscopes were improved even more. A Scottish scientist named Robert Falconer designed the first compound microscope. The compound microscope had different lenses and was used mainly to study plants, insects and other complex organisms. 

In the 1700s, another improvement was made. This was called Leucippus’s Contrivance. This combination of two microscopes was used to see miniature-sized bodies.

In 1787, George Shaw invented the first useable microscope called “The microscope on a monorail.” It improved the compound microscope because it didn’t have blind spots in the lenses as the compound scopes had.

Then in the 1800s, developments in microscopes increased again. Johann Nepomuk Von Jacqmundy designed a compound microscope. The first compound microscope had a slide attached to it, allowing for different parts of objects to be seen at a single go. 

In 1820, Joseph Jackson Lister invented the most commonly used type of microscope in research today: the hand-held microscope. This was introduced when most doctors started realizing the fact that viruses caused diseases and not bacteria. In 1837, Gregor von Rokitansky developed a microscope that used a light source instead of a lens and was used specifically for studying fossils. 

In the late 1800s, microscopes were improved with a plastic vacuum tube that contained a lens. This device was invented by Henry Biewicke and used glass slides to look at specimens. 

In the 1950s, an adaptation of the compound microscope was invented. It was called the binocular microscope and could view two slides at the same time. With the invention of the binocular microscope, a new field of research was opened. This field became known as binocular vision. 

In the 1960s, a new method for studying microscopic organisms was invented. This method used electron microscopes and was called Electron Microscopy (EM). The last major invention related to microscopes in terms of technology occurred in 1991 when Richard Averitt invented a new type of microscope called the inverted microscope. This microscope uses a laser instead of a lens to capture images.

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Since their first invention in the 1300s, microscopes have been used for research and are now how scientists view microscopic organisms. Without microscopes, we wouldn’t know what bacteria looked like or about the red blood cells that make up our blood. The microscope has been around for hundreds of years and is now used in schools and labs worldwide. It has opened a whole new field of research and opened our eyes to so many different things that can’t be seen without a microscope.

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