It’s not easy for us to imagine the impact that “Micrographia” had back in 1665. This giant-sized flea probably shocked the reader. It was the first time that people were able to see the secrets of the natural world in such magnified detail. Robert Hooke was an architect and scientist, and his precise illustrations were a leap into the everyday micro world. By the way, the book contains the first use of the word “cell.”
(Images from the Welcome Collection.)

The head of a grey dronefly.

Sparks of fire struck from flint and steel.

A copy of Hooke’s first compound microscope is in the British Museum.

Modern magnification
Now we’re used to seeing very high-power magnifications of all kinds of things. This image of pollen was created by an electron microscope.

Photograph by the Dartmouth College Electron Microscope Facility.

A house fly photographed with a macro lens.

Photograph by Yudy Sauw: https://500px.com/yudysauw