The Chinese use water microscopes made of a lens and a water filled tube to better visualize smaller objects.
Hans Jansen and his son Zacharias Jansen invent the compound microscope.
Galileo Galilei develops a compound microscope with a convex and concave lens. Calling it the occhiolino - the little eye.
The term ‘microscope’ is coined by Giovanni Faber of Bamberg, an anology with the word ‘telescope’
Robert Hooke publishes Micrographia and coins the word ‘cell’ after his examination of cork bark.
Anton van Leuwenhoek develops the compound microscope to optimize it for observing biological specimens.
Ernst Abbe discovers the Abbe sine condition for manipulating the axis of optical systems to improving sharpess of images. This breakthrough in microscope design was exploited by microscope manufacturers Zeiss and Leitz resulting in a microscope boom.
Olympus manufacture their first microscope - the Asahi.
The Olympus DF Biological Microscope becomes the first microscope to feature an attached light source rather than a mirror that reflects light on the specimen.
The popular CH series of Olympus microscopes appear in universities and colleges around the world. Chances are your college still uses these lab teaching scopes (or the slightly newer CH2 version).
Introduction of a unique Y-shaped design for the microscope body for enhancing optics.
Confocal and virtual microscopy are now common place.