Glass

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How do doctors know that vaccines can prevent disease?

Would it surprise you to know that the invention of glass is the underlying innovation in the development of disease fighters like antiseptics, antibiotics, and vaccinations?

The invention of clear glass in the 13th century paved the way for subsequent innovations throughout the centuries that followed, most crucially, the development of the lens.

Not only did the lens play a seminal part in the creation of spectacles, it was also crucial to the development of scientific research. When Hans and Zacharias Janssen, father and son spectacle makers from the Dutch town of Middelburg, layered two lenses on top of each other in 1590, they discovered their magnifying properties.

In this clip from the 'Glass' episode, Steven explains the story of one of the most important scientific inventions of the 16h century –the microscope.

From the invention of clear glass to the ability to understand and fight disease on a huge scale, continual innovation is fundamental to the way our modern world functions and thrives today.

Discover more from this episode in the How We Got To Now Gallery section...

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