GARY BROWN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY BROWN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Caricature of the Dutch optician, spectacle maker and inventor of the telescope Hans Lippershey (1570-1619). According to tradition, Lippershy's children when playing with a couple of lenses (centre right) 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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