In the early 17th century, Galileo Galilei discovered that he could focus his telescope to examine small objects up close. Around 1620, it is believed that Cornelius Drebbel invented the compound microscope. In the 1670s, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek began experimenting with very high-magnification, single-lensed microscopes that he designed himself.
Fast-forward 350 years and microscopy is a wide-ranging field that covers numerous industrial applications. Meanwhile, the growth of automation, part of a paradigm shift commonly referred to as Industry 4.0, has played a major role in driving microscope manufacturers to innovate apace with increasingly smart production lines.