Anton Van Leeuwenhoek was not the inventor of the compound microscope. The microscope was invented by Robert Hooke of England and Jan Swammerdam of the Netherlands in 1595, almost 40 years before Leeuwenhoek was even born. However, Leeuwenhoek improved on the quality of the lens used in his microscopes.
Leeuwenhoek's skill at grinding microscope lenses, combined with his eyesight and use of lighting, allowed his microscopes to magnify up to 200 times. By comparison, early compound microscopes could only magnify up to 30 to 40 times. His first scientific observation on bee mouths and stings was delivered to the Royal Society in 1673Learn More
In 1498, the Chinese created the first toothbrush as it is known today with bristles and a thin handle.Toothbrushes were mentioned as far back as 3,000 BC. They were described as chew sticks that were made of twigs with split threads at the end that could be rubbed vigorously against the teeth to remove food and plaque.Full Answer >
Although widely and erroneously credited to 19th-century British plumber Thomas Crapper, the modern flush toilet was actually invented in 1596 by Sir John Harrington. His treatise, titled "A New Discourse of a Stale Subject, Called the Metamorphosis of Ajax," described an early type of flush toilet.Full Answer >
Thomas Edison's favorite invention was the phonograph. Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. It was through his efforts to improve the telephone and telegraph that he conceived the idea to record sound on tinfoil-coated cylinders.Full Answer >
John Bird invented the sextant in 1759. His work was based on prior work by John Hadley and Thomas Godfrey, who separately invented the octant. He also relied on the work of Sir Isaac Newton regarding the principles of a doubly reflecting navigation instrument.Full Answer >