Comments Anton Van Leeuwenhoek biography Anton van Leeuwenhoek October 24, — August 26, considered the father of microbiology. He was born in Delft, the Netherlands. Baptized in the Protestant Reformed Church. The occupation of his parents prevented him from studying, so he received a basic education at home. His father died when he was only five years old.
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On 4 November, he was baptized as Thonis. His father, Philips Antonisz van Leeuwenhoek, was a basket maker who died when Antonie was only five years old. She remarried Jacob Jansz Molijn, a painter. Antonie had four older sisters: Margriet, Geertruyt, Neeltje, and Catharina. He attended school in Warmond for a short time before being sent to live in Benthuizen with his uncle, an attorney.
Van Leeuwenhoek left there after six years. That same year he returned to Delft, where he would live and study for the rest of his life. His wife died in , and in , van Leeuwenhoek remarried to Cornelia Swalmius with whom he had no children. In he received a lucrative job as chamberlain for the assembly chamber of the Delft sheriffs in the city hall , a position which he would hold for almost 40 years. In he was appointed as a land surveyor by the court of Holland ; at some time he combined it with another municipal job, being the official "wine-gauger" of Delft and in charge of the city wine imports and taxation.
It has been suggested that he is the man portrayed in two Vermeer paintings of the late s, The Astronomer and The Geographer , but others argue that there appears to be little physical similarity. He developed an interest in lensmaking, although few records exist of his early activity. Then, by reinserting the end of one whisker into the flame, he could create a very small, high-quality glass sphere.
These spheres became the lenses of his microscopes, with the smallest spheres providing the highest magnifications. In response, in the society published a letter from van Leeuwenhoek that included his microscopic observations on mold, bees, and lice. At first he had been reluctant to publicize his findings, regarding himself as a businessman with little scientific, artistic, or writing background, but de Graaf urged him to be more confident in his work.
He only wrote letters in his own colloquial Dutch; he never published a proper scientific paper in Latin. He strongly preferred to work alone, distrusting the sincerity of those who offered their assistance. He was also the first to use the word animalcules to translate the Dutch words that Leeuwenhoek used to describe microorganisms. His credibility was questioned when he sent the Royal Society a copy of his first observations of microscopic single-celled organisms dated 9 October Thus, even with his established reputation with the Royal Society as a reliable observer, his observations of microscopic life were initially met with some skepticism.
To the disappointment of his guests, van Leeuwenhoek refused to reveal the cutting-edge microscopes he relied on for his discoveries, instead showing visitors a collection of average-quality lenses.
He therefore allowed others to believe that he was laboriously spending most of his nights and free time grinding increasingly tiny lenses to use in microscopes, even though this belief conflicted both with his construction of hundreds of microscopes and his habit of building a new microscope whenever he chanced upon an interesting specimen that he wanted to preserve.
He made about microscopes of various magnifications. In , van Leeuwenhoek was invited to visit the Tsar Peter the Great on his boat.
On this occasion van Leeuwenhoek presented the Tsar with an "eel-viewer", so Peter could study blood circulation whenever he wanted. He also created at least 25 single-lens microscopes, of differing types, of which only nine have survived.
These microscopes were made of silver or copper frames, holding hand-made lenses. Those that have survived are capable of magnification up to times. It is suspected that van Leeuwenhoek possessed some microscopes that could magnify up to times. Although he has been widely regarded as a dilettante or amateur, his scientific research was of remarkably high quality.
The other side of the microscope had a pin, where the sample was attached in order to stay close to the lens. There were also three screws to move the pin and the sample along three axes: one axis to change the focus, and the two other axes to navigate through the sample. Van Leeuwenhoek maintained throughout his life that there are aspects of microscope construction "which I only keep for myself", in particular his most critical secret of how he made the lenses.
Stong used thin glass thread fusing instead of polishing, and successfully created some working samples of a van Leeuwenhoek design microscope.
Mosolov and A. He studied a broad range of microscopic phenomena, and shared the resulting observations freely with groups such as the British Royal Society. Van Leeuwenhoek was one of the first people to observe cells, much like Robert Hooke.
He roasted the bean, cut it into slices and saw a spongy interior. The bean was pressed, and an oil appeared. He boiled the coffee with rain water twice and set it aside. Even during the last weeks of his life, van Leeuwenhoek continued to send letters full of observations to London. The last few contained a precise description of his own illness. They were found to be of high quality, and all were well preserved.
He constructed rational and repeatable experimental procedures and was willing to oppose received opinion, such as spontaneous generation , and he changed his mind in the light of evidence. A cluster of Escherichia coli bacteria magnified 10, times. See also.
Biography of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Father of Microbiology
Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek discovered small creature such as bacteria, protozoa, parasitic and free-living protists, blood cells, sperm cells, rotifers, nematodes, hydra and volvox by his own handcrafted microscope. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Family Leeuwenhoek father Antonisz Van Leeuwenhoek was a basket maker and his maternal family were connected with the business of brewers. Antonie father died when he was only five years old. After the death of his father, Antonie mother remarried Jacob Jansz Molijn, a painter by profession. His step-father died when he was only ten years old.
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek – A comprehensive biography
On 4 November, he was baptized as Thonis. His father, Philips Antonisz van Leeuwenhoek, was a basket maker who died when Antonie was only five years old. She remarried Jacob Jansz Molijn, a painter. Antonie had four older sisters: Margriet, Geertruyt, Neeltje, and Catharina. He attended school in Warmond for a short time before being sent to live in Benthuizen with his uncle, an attorney. Van Leeuwenhoek left there after six years.