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The ancestor of the microscope, as we know it today, was first described in 1625. Still, it took another 250 years until the microscope was fully accepted as a scientific instrument.

It is not known who made the first microscope, but the construction was a basic reversion of a telescope. The first telescope was built by the Dutch spectacle maker Zacharias Janssen in 1608.

The following chapters trace through some of the stages in the 'career of the microscope'.

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