For the majority of history, germs were an unknown entity. Their effects, from fermentation to illness were known, and yet no one exactly knew the cause. Then, nearly 350 years ago, Antoine van Leeuwenhoek, a one-time draper, looked through a flat lens made of ground glass and saw for the very first time the microscopic world. Since then, scientists have been finding ways to improve upon his achievement, now known as microscopy, to better see and understand what happens in the unseen world.
The microscope has always been a microbiologist's best friend and is a hallmark of any laboratory. But over the last few decades, as the cost of making microscopes declined, the microscope started to appear outside of the professional environment. Today, an assortment of microscopes can be found in science-themed stores all over the world and online. They are far less powerful than the ones found in modern laboratories but their use has helped to keep us aware of the microbial world.
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