The Origins of the Telescope

Edited by Aalbert Van Helden, Sven Dupré, Rob van Gent, and Huib Zuidervaart

The Origins of the Telescope
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Edited by Aalbert Van Helden, Sven Dupré, Rob van Gent, and Huib Zuidervaart

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

368 pages | 125 halftones | 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 | © 2010
Cloth $59.00 ISBN: 9789069846156 Published October 2011 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

The origins of the telescope have been debated since the instrument’s appearance in the Hague in 1608. Civic and national pride has led local dignitaries, popular writers, and scholars to present sharply divergent histories over the years, crediting a variety of people and places with the invention. Drawing on newly discovered documents, re-examined records, and tests of early lenses and telescopes, this fascinating study proposes a new and convincing account of the origins of the instrument that changed mankind’s vision of the universe.


The ‘true inventor’ of the telescope. A survey of 400 years of debate
      Huib J. Zuidervaart
The city of Middelburg, cradle of the telescope
      Klaas van Berkel
The telescope at the court of the stadtholder Maurits
      Rienk Vermij
The long road to the invention of the telescope
      Rolf Willach
Suspicious spectacles. Medical perspectives on eyeglasses, the case of Hieronymus Mercurialis
      Katrien Vanagt
William Bourne's invention. Projecting a telescope and optical speculation in Elizabethan England
      Sven Dupré
Alhacen and Kepler and the origins of modern lens-theory
      A. Mark Smith
Complete inventions: The mirror and the telescope
      Eileen Reeves
Galileo and the telescope
      Albert Van Helden
Did Galileo copy the telescope? A ‘new’ letter by Paolo Sarpi
      Mario Biagioli
The world’s oldest surviving telescopes
      Marvin Bolt and Michael Korey
Labour on lenses: Isaac Beeckman’s notes on lens making
      Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis
Testing telescope optics of seventh-century Italy
      Giuseppe Molesini
Kepler’s legacy: telescopes and geometrical optics, 1611–1669
      Antoni Malet
The Netherlands, Siam and the telescope. The first Asian encounter with a Dutch invention
      Henk Zoomers
Music as a liberal art and the invention of the telescope
      Albert Clement

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