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Joseph Lister, British physicist

Joseph Lister, British physicist

C003/6719

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Credit

ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Joseph Jackson Lister (1786-1869), British physicist. Lister was born to a Quaker family in Bingley, Yorkshire. Quaker schools, then was apprenticed to his father’s wine business. At the age of 18 he became a partner in the business, and married in 1818. By this time the business was very prosperous, allowing Lister to pursue his interests in microscopy. Lister recognised the limits of the microscope lens were due to aberrations, and designed an achromatic couplet of different types of crown and flint glass to correct for it. This revolutionised microscopy, and Lister was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. His observations of red blood cells led to Hodgkin identifying what became known as Hodgkin’s Disease.

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