Hooke's compound microscope, 1665-1675.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A modern (2000) reconstruction of Robert Hooke's (1635-1703) compound microscope (left), copied from the engraving and description in his book 'Micrographia' (1665), the first important work on microscopy. Beside it is a reconstruction of the illuminating system, developed in 1675, which Hooke used to light specimens; an oil lamp and a globe that would have been filled with liquid. Hooke used his pioneering compound microscope, with its two lens systems, to examine a flea, a piece of cork and many other specimens.