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Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
(1632-1723)


    Anton Van Leeuwenhoek was the father of microbiology. He was the first man to see microbes, which were the first living organisms to appear on the earth. He was the first to describe the shapes of bacteria found in rain water and saliva of mouth. He made his first microscope in 1670.

    He was born in 1632 in Delft. When he grew up, he became apprentice to a lens-maker. He lived his whole life working happily in his home town, Delft. From his youth, Leeuwenhoek had been interested in microscope. He always made lenses of his own instruments. He became a craftsman in the production of lenses and his fame gradually spread abroad.

    The microscopes constructed by Leeuwenhoek had only single lenses but he put fine skills into their manufacture. His instruments opened up a new world of small and tiny creatures. His microscopes were the world's best instruments in their respective field.

    Leeuwenhoek, the Dutch biologist, had no real scientific training, but his self-acquired knowledge and patient experiments led him to the discovery of microbes. He was probably the first man in the world to see bacteria, which he discovered in the tartar of teeth. He was in great surprise to see many small animalcules, the motions of which were very pleasing to behold. He found this moment so exciting that it led him to deep study of microbiology.

    Leeuwenhoek got married when he was quite young. Besides fulfilling his marital responsibilities, he pursued the mysteries of nature in its minutest forms. His joy and enthusiasm for his subject lasted till his life.

    His observations about microbes were later collected into four volumes and published in Holland. He wandered through nature with his lenses. His work and observation on the life of microbes gained for Leeuwenhoek praise from all over the world. He was the first to draw attention that insects infest plant life. Leeuwenhoek died in 1723.

























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