Compound microscope, c 1676.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustration of compound microscope belonging to Robert Hooke (1635-1703). Hooke's book 'Micrographia' (1665) was the first important work in microscopy. He used his compound microscope, with its two lens systems, to examine a flea, a piece of cork and many other specimens. The illuminating system was an oil lamp, a globe full of liquid to focus light onto the specimen. Hooke was the first curator of the Royal Society, and from 1674 demonstrated new experiments at the Royal Society's weekly meetings.