Using a camera obscura to draw insects, 1776.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate from 'Mikroskoopische Vermaaklykheden', or 'Microscopic Delights of the Mind and Eye', a Dutch edition of a book written by the German microscopist Martin Frobenius Ledermuller (1719-1769) in 1760. Ledermuller was a government beekeeper and amateur microscopist who was particularly interested in adapting camera obscuras to operate as solar microscopes so that he could closely observe insects. This illustration demonstrates how the microscopist could use the camera obscura to enlarge the image of the insect and draw it.