The Microscope

Source: The Construction of Timber, from Its Early Growth, Explained by the Microscope, Rare Book QK 475 H64 1770

Construction of Timber

Construction of Timber

Staff Person: Ralph Scott


Antonie van Leeuwenhoek is generally credited with the first practical application of the compound microscope around the latter half of the seventeenth century. During his life he made more than 400 lenses and 300 different types of microscopes. Dendrochronology is a modern technique for scientific dating using tree ring growth. However, in the eighteenth century, Sir John Hill (1716-1775) wrote an interesting treatise on the growth of timber using the new microscope as a scientific tool. Hill noted the increase in growth of tree rings as he made experiments on various types of trees. Timber was an important commodity to the English as their colonies provided a major source of naval stores. Hill, who is primarily known as an “indefatigable” writer and editor of the British Magazine, was knighted for his illustrated botanical compendium The Vegetable System.

Hill, John, The Construction of Timber, from Its Early Growth, Explained by the Microscope. London, printed for the author, 1770.

Rare QK 475 H64 1770

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