Anton van Leeuwenhoek

Leeuwenhoek, Antony van

Antony van Leeuwenhoek (än´tōnē vän lā´vənhōōk´), 1632–1723, Dutch student of natural history and maker of microscopes, b. Delft. His use of lenses in examining cloth as a draper's apprentice probably led to his interest in lens making. He assembled over 247 microscopes, some of which magnified objects 270 times. In the course of his examination of innumerable microorganisms and tissue samples, he gave the first complete descriptions of the bacteria, the protozoans (which he called animalcules), spermatozoa, and striped muscle. He also observed the red blood cells in his detailed study of capillary circulation. He was elected to the Royal Society of England in recognition of his work.

See his collected letters (Vol. I–VI, 1939–61).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Anton van Leeuwenhoek: Selected full-text books and articles

Readings in Biological Science By Irving William Knobloch Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1967 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Excerpts from The First Observations on 'Little Animals,' Protozoa and Bacteria in Waters" by Antony van Leeuwenhoek
The Epic History of Biology By Anthony Serafini Plenum Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "The Microscope and Leeuwenhoek"
Moments of Discovery By George Schwartz; Philip W. Bishop Basic Books, vol.1, 1958
Librarian’s tip: "Anton van Leeuwenhoek: Bacteria and Protozoa Are Seen and Accurately Described for the First Time" begins on p. 411
The Coil of Life: The Story of the Great Discoveries in the Life Sciences By Ruth Moore Knopf, 1961
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Anton van Leeuwenhoek begins on p. 78
A History of Science, Technology, and Philosophy in the 16th & 17th Centuries By A. Wolf; F. Dannemann George Allen & Unwin, 1935
Librarian’s tip: "Leeuwenhoek" begins on p. 420
A History of Biology to about the Year 1900: A General Introduction to the Study of Living Things By Charles Singer Abelard-Schuman, 1959 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723)" begins on p. 166
The Ovary of Eve: Egg and Sperm and Preformation By Clara Pinto-Correia University of Chicago Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Anton van Leeuwenhoek begins on p. 68
Minds behind the Brain: A History of the Pioneers and Their Discoveries By Stanley Finger Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "The First Microscopes" begins on p. 198
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