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Hans Lippershey

(c. 1570—1619)


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(c.1570–1619) Dutch spectacle maker

Lippershey was a maker of eyeglasses in Wesel, Germany. According to tradition, an apprentice playing with a couple of lenses suddenly found that a distant weathercock looked much bigger and nearer. Lippershey realized the significance of this and made the first telescope in 1608. He offered his invention to the Estates of Holland for use in warfare and initially an attempt was made by the Estates to keep the invention secret, but it was much too easy to reconstruct. All Galileo needed was a report of the ‘Dutch invention’ to allow him to make his own. There are many other claimants to Lippershey's invention, including his compatriot Zacharias Janssen.

Subjects: Science and Mathematics.


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