Hans Lippershey

From Academic Kids

Hans Lippershey (circa 15701619) was a Dutch lensmaker.

He was born in Wesel, in western Germany. He settled in Middelburg in the Netherlands, and was married there in 1594. In 1602 he became a citizen.

He was credited with creating and disseminating designs for the first practical telescope. Crude telescopes and spyglasses may have been created much earlier, but Lippershey is believed to be the first to apply for a patent for his design and make it available for general use in 1608. He failed to receive a patent but was handsomely rewarded by the Dutch government for copies of his design. A description of Lippershey's instrument quickly reached Galileo Galilei, who created a working design in 1609, with which he made the observations found in his Sidereus Nuncius of 1610.

There is a legend that Lippershey's children actually discovered the telescope while playing with flawed lenses in their father's workshop, but this may be apocryphal.

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