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The telescope

The earliest evidence of working telescopes were the refracting telescopes that appeared
in the Netherlands in 1608. Their development is credited to three individuals: Hans
Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, who were spectacle makers in Middelburg, and Jacob
Metius of Alkmaar.[4] Galileo greatly improved upon these designs the following year.
The idea that a mirror could be used as an objective instead of a lens was being
investigated soon after the invention of the refracting telescope.[5] The potential
advantages of using parabolic mirrors, primarily reduction of spherical aberration with no
chromatic aberration, led to many proposed designs and several attempts to build
reflecting telescopes.[6] In 1668, Isaac Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope,
which bears his name, the Newtonian reflector.
The microscope
An early microscope was made in 1590 in Middelburg, The Netherlands.[1] Two eyeglass
makers are variously given credit: Hans Lippershey (who developed an early telescope)
and Hans Janssen. Giovanni Faber coined the name for Galileo Galilei's compound
microscope in 1625.[2] (Galileo had called it the "occhiolino" or "little eye".)
The first detailed account of the interior construction of living tissue based on the use of a
microscope did not appear until 1644, in Giambattista Odierna's L'ochio della mosca, or
The Fly's Eye.[3]
It was not until the 1660s and 1670s that the microscope was used seriously in Italy,
Holland and England. Marcelo Malpighi in Italy began the analysis of biological
structures beginning with the lungs. Robert Hooke's Micrographia had a huge impact,
largely because of its impressive illustrations. The greatest contribution came from
Antoni van Leeuwenhoek who discovered red blood cells and spermatozoa. On 9 October
1676, Leeuwenhoek reported the discovery of micro-organisms.[3]
The most common type of microscopeand the first inventedis the optical
microscope. This is an optical instrument containing one or more lenses producing an
enlarged image of an object placed in the focal plane of the lenses.
The steam engine
The history of the steam engine stretches back as far as the first century AD; the first
recorded rudimentary steam engine being the aeolipile described by Hero of Alexandria.[2]
In the following centuries, the few engines known about were essentially experimental
devices used by inventors to demonstrate the properties of steam, such as the rudimentary
steam turbine device described by Taqi al-Din[3] in 1551 and Giovanni Branca[4] in 1629.

Following the invention by Denis Papin of the steam digester in 1679, and a first piston
steam engine in 1690, the first practical steam-powered 'engine' was a water pump,
developed in 1698 by Thomas Savery. It proved only to have a limited lift height and was
prone to boiler explosions, but it still received some use for mines and pumping stations.
The first commercially successful engine did not appear until 1712. Incorporating
technologies discovered by Savery and Denis Papin, the atmospheric engine, invented by
Thomas Newcomen, paved the way for the Industrial Revolution. Newcomen's engine
was relatively inefficient, and in most cases was only used for pumping water. It was
mainly employed for draining mine workings at depths hitherto impossible, but also for
providing a reusable water supply for driving waterwheels at factories sited away from a
suitable 'head'.
The next major step occurred when James Watt developed an improved version of
Newcomen's engine. Watt's engine used 75% less coal than Newcomen's, and was hence
much cheaper to run. Watt proceeded to develop his engine further, modifying it to
provide a rotary motion suitable for driving factory machinery. This enabled factories to
be sited away from rivers, and further accelerated the pace of the Industrial Revolution.
The submarine
The first military submarine was Turtle (1775), a hand-powered egg-shaped device
designed by the American David Bushnell to accommodate a single person. It was the
first verified submarine capable of independent underwater operation and movement, and
the first to use screws for propulsion. During the American Revolutionary War, Turtle
(operated by Sgt. Ezra Lee, Continental Army) tried and failed to sink the British warship
HMS Eagle, flagship of the blockaders in New York harbor on September 7, 1776.
The bicycle
Multiple innovators contributed to the history of the bicycle by developing precursor
human-powered vehicles. The documented ancestors of today's modern bicycle were
known as draisines, hobby horses, or push bikes (and modern bicycles are sometimes still
called push bikes outside of North America). Being the first human means of transport to
make use of the two-wheeler principle, the draisine (or Laufmaschine, "running
machine"), invented by the German Baron Karl von Drais, is regarded as the forerunner
of the modern bicycle. It was introduced by Drais to the public in Mannheim in summer
1817 and in Paris in 1818.[3] Its rider sat astride a wooden frame supported by two in-line
wheels and pushed the vehicle along with his/her feet while steering the front wheel.
The light bulb
In addressing the question "Who invented the incandescent lamp?" historians Robert
Friedel and Paul Israel [3] list 22 inventors of incandescent lamps prior to Joseph Wilson
Swan and Thomas Edison. They conclude that Edison's version was able to outstrip the
others because of a combination of three factors: an effective incandescent material, a
higher vacuum than others were able to achieve (by use of the Sprengel pump) and a high

resistance lamp that made power distribution from a centralized source economically
Another historian, Thomas Hughes, has attributed Edison's success to the fact that he
invented an entire, integrated system of electric lighting. "The lamp was a small
component in his system of electric lighting, and no more critical to its effective
functioning than the Edison Jumbo generator, the Edison main and feeder, and the
parallel-distribution system. Other inventors with generators and incandescent lamps, and
with comparable ingenuity and excellence, have long been forgotten because their
creators did not preside over their introduction in a system of lighting."[4][5]