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© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Anton van Leeuwenhoek: Selected full-text books and articles

Measuring the Invisible World: The Life and Works of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek
A. Schierbeek.
Abelard-Schuman, 1959
FREE! Antony van Leeuwenhoek and His "Little Animals": Being Some Account of the Father of Protozoology and Bacteriology and His Multifarious Discoveries in These Disciplines
Antony van Leeuwenhoek; Clifford Dobell.
Harcourt, Brace, 1922
Readings in Biological Science
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
Anthony Serafini.
Plenum Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "The Microscope and Leeuwenhoek"
Moments of Discovery
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
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
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
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
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
Stanley Finger.
Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "The First Microscopes" begins on p. 198
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