Lippershey, Hans (Johannes)

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fl. sixteenth/seventeenth centuries the Netherlands
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Dutch probable inventor of the telescope.
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Lippershey was a spectacle maker of Middelburg, a contender for the invention of the telescope. It is said that about 1600 two children were playing about his workshop and chanced to place a convex and a concave lens in a line, and noted a great magnification of the nearby church. Lippershey confirmed this and started manufacture of "instruments for seeing at a distance". In 1608 he petitioned the States General of the Netherlands for a patent for thirty years. A committee appointed to look into the matter declared that the device was likely to be of use to the State and suggested the improvement of a binocular arrangement. Other Dutch glass-workers, however, put forward claims to have constructed similar instruments, and, in the confusion, the States General turned down Lippershey's plea and he received no financial reward or patent protection.
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Further Reading
D.J.Boorstin, 1984, The Discoverers, London: J.M.Dent.
IMcN

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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