Virtual Children's Books Exhibits


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Hookes Microscope

Creepy Crawlies    Creepy Crawlies

13.  Author of Wonders of the Telescope.
The Wonders of the Microscope; or, An Explanation of the Wisdom of the Creator in Objects Comparatively Minute. New edition.
London: Darton and Clark, ca. 1842.

These extraordinary images of the flea and louse were copied from two famous plates from Micrographia (1665) by Robert Hooke (1635-1703), a founding member of the Royal Society of London. Hooke drew these meticulously detailed pictures of common insects magnified under a microscope to demonstrate that the naked human eye could not actually see such tiny organisms without the assistance of scientific instruments. Hooke's flea and louse continued to appear in natural history books long after the scientific controversies that inspired their creation had been resolved. If you would like to learn more about this great early modern scientist, visit the Robert Hooke web page.