Lippershey, Hans (Johannes)

Lippershey, Hans (Johannes)
fl. sixteenth/seventeenth centuries the Netherlands
Dutch probable inventor of the telescope.
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.
Further Reading
D.J.Boorstin, 1984, The Discoverers, London: J.M.Dent.

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

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