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Letter, from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Delft

Reference number: EL/L1/29

Date: 05 October 1677


Signed autograph
Theory for the existence of different skin colours; observations of the reproduction of eels and their blood; observations of the reproduction of lice; compares the larvae of fleas with silk-worms; discusses Mr Swammerdam's views on fleas; demonstrating a grain of millet as a measure of capacity and states that he sends 8 testimonials about this (inserted after EL/L1/30); numbers of organisms living in a drop of water
Testimonials from Benedict Haan, Henry Cordes, R Gordon, J Boogert, Robert Poitevin, WV Burch, Albert Hodenpijl, Alex Petrie (in Latin, Dutch and English) as witnesses to Leeuwenhoek's demonstrations
Translation of letter in Latin see EL/L1/30
Transcribed and translated in 'Alle de brieven van Antoni van Leeuwenhoek', edited, illustrated and annotated by Committee of Dutch Scientists, vol 2, p 237
For summary see 'The correspondence of Henry Oldenburg', ed and trans by A Rupert Hall & Marie Boas Hall, vol 13, p 348

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Earliest possible date
05 October 1677
Page extent
14 pages

Creator name

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek

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Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Letter, from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Delft, 05 October 1677, EL/L1/29, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 16 April 2024

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  • Early Letters

    Dates: 1613-1740

    The archival collection known as 'Early Letters' is composed of original manuscript letters sent to, or collected by, the Royal Society from English and foreign correspondents.

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