Wrote Letter 52 of 1686-07-10 (AB 94) to Members of the Royal Society

July 10, 1686
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Text of the letter in the original Dutch and in English translation from Alle de Brieven. The Collected Letters at the DBNL - De Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren.

The original manuscript on twelve quarto pages, written by a copyist and signed by Leeuwenhoek, is preserved at the Royal Society (MS. 1915. L 2. 6.


Two of the three red-chalk drawings are preserved at the Royal Society. The scans on the sidebars came from the 1708 third edition of Arcana Naturae Microscopiorum.

In the text, Leeuwenhoek noted that he had them drawn by someone.

I had a drawing made of a small piece of oak, as the same, on its end, presented itself to the naked eye after being planed smooth; as fig.: 1.

In order to show the difference in the oak brought hither from the Baltic Countries, from Koenigsberg and Riga, I have had a piece of that wood drawn. Fig: 2.

Now in order to demonstrate the structure of Pine, I have thought fit to have a drawing made of a very small piece of Wood.

He discussed Fig. 1 at the beginning of the letter and again at the end. In all of the Dutch and Latin editions, Fig. 1 was reprinted within sight of the second discussion.