Robert Hooke (1635–1703).
Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses with observations and inquiries thereupon.
London: John Martyn and James Allestry,
Micrographia is the most influential work in the history of microscopy. Published by order of the Royal Society in London, it is a remarkable work documenting early experimental science. Robert Hooke, secretary to the society, relied on “a sincere hand and a faithful eye” to record things as they appeared, and established the use of the compound microscope as a primary investigative tool in the sciences more than seventy-five years after its actual invention. Micrographia is also known for its splendid copperplate engravings of “minute bodies.” Perhaps most famous is the engraving of the louse, which appears across a fold-out page nearly two feet long and is the icon of microscopy. My book collection centers on the history of science and, in particular, microscopy, and this book is the centerpiece of my collection.
Howard L. Schwartz