Robert Hooke (1635-1705). The first person to see a cell was Robert Hooke. He used a very primitive microscope, but when he was looking at cork cells under the microscope, he saw cells for the first time. The shape of the cells reminded him of the monk monasteries and so he nicknamed them "cells".
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723). The first person to see living cells was Anton Leeuwenhoek, a microscope builder. Leeuwenhoek was the first person to observe single celled animals (protozoa) with a microscope. He was also the first person, using a microscope, to observe clearly and to describe red blood cells in humans and other animals as well as sperm cells. Anton Van Leeuwenhoek also improved magnification of microscope by polishing lenses in 1674 and he discovered bacteria from a sample of saliva from his mouth in 1683.
Matthias Schleiden (1804-1881) was a co-founder of the cell theory. Matthias Schleiden concluded that all plant tissues are composed of cells and that an embryonic plant arose from a single cell. He declared that the cell is the basic building block of all plant matter. He stated that the different parts of the plant organism are composed of cells.
Rudolph Virchow (1821-1902) is credited with many important discoveries. His most widely known scientific contribution is his cell theory. He was the first to recognize leukemia cells, and that all cells came from pre-existing cells. He also stated that not all plants are made up of cells, which eventually lead to the creation of the cell theory. He also stated that all living things came from other living things.
Theodore Schwann (1810-1882) discovered that animals were made up of cells. Schwann's theory and observations became the foundations of modern histology. Later, Matthias Schleiden and Theodore Schwann declared that "All living things are composed of cells and cell products". This became the cell theory.
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