Biography of Zacharias Janssen (1588-ca.1628)

Flamenco optical born in 1588 in the Hague, and died in 1631 or 1628 in Amsterdam, who is credited, along with his father Hans and Hans Lippershey, the invention of the microscope and the telescope.

Son of an optical shop her mother instructed own call, according to various sources, Hans, Jan, Johan or Johannides, who died when Zacharias was four years of age, in the tasks of the family workshop, the young man addressed until 1624. Contrary to the Spanish dominion over the Netherlands in his workshop were all types of illicit activities such as counterfeiting, which earned him two sentences from the authorities of the Empire, one of which, to death, was switched in 1618. When he/she left prison, impoverished, the workshop declared bankrupt and saw its assets auctioned.

Some sources date the birth of the trzpień or magnifying images, presented by Hans Janssen as spectacle in travelling, in the year 1590 fairs, when Zacharias was only two years old, which seems barely credible intervention of the son. Other sources date it in 1610, date that seems equally dubious, because already in 1592 are the first illustrations of insects with this device, work of the cartoonist flamenco Joris Hoefnagel, and must be taken into account that the Dutch Government paid in 1608 to Hans Lippershey 900 guilders per your Magnifier tube or spotting scope to the field of battle.

The attribution of this device to the Jansen is due to claims of the friends of the young Zacharias, once deceased, because neither the father nor the son claimed for himself that right. In any case, the possibility of combining a concave lens and another convex to increase an image size Girolamo Fracastoro is mentioned for the first time in 1538. The delay in building this device is explained because of the difficulty that it supposed to carve and Polish lenses free of impurities and non striated surface, and it is logical to think that he/she is achieved for the first time in the Netherlands, as its optical were, by far, the best of his time.