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Hans Lippershey. Portrait of Hans (or Jan) Lippershey (1570-1619), Dutch optician & inventor of the telescope. Lippershey was a maker of eye- glasses. According to tradition, an apprentice in his workshop playing with a couple of lenses found that a distant weathercock looked much bigger and nearer. Lippershey confirmed this and made the first telescope in 1608. He offered his invention to the Dutch government for military use. An attempt was made to keep the invention secret, but rumours began to spread and other Dutch glass workers put forward their own ideas for similar instruments. As a result, Lippershey received no patent or financial reward.
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