Contributions to Cell Theory

A brief outlook on six main contributors to the discovery of the cell and all of its integrity.


Hans and Zacharias Janssen

Approx. 1590

Father, Hans influenced his son, Zacharias to the ultimate invention of the compound microscope. Zacharias is credited with the invention , but is influenced and lead by his father. The microscope was weaker than modern day, but was the first to be documented and used.

Robert Hooke


Robert Hooke's was of very large influence of science in many different topics, such as astronomy, and biology. He was the first to mention the "cell" while examining a cork; among plants, wood, and a fly's eye. This name, "cell", derived of the many pores he saw in the cork he remarked looked like the walled compartments a monk would live in. Although he was unaware of their structure or function, and gave no indication other than their presence. These "cells" lead him to be one of the first proponents of the theory of evolution.

Anton Von Leewenhoek


Anton, "Father of Microbiology" was a Dutch tradesman and scientist. He handmade makeshift microscopes, with perfectly rounded lenses. With over 500 microscopes made over his career he became an expert and collected numerous observations on multiple objects. He viewed anything from human bodily fluids to nature. Most known for his observations of lake water, he assumed from different samples he took that it must have living things in, so collected a sample and saw small organisms in it. These organisms were bacteria, and the first documentation of them. He had many struggles getting people to catch on to his ideas and observations, and wasn't used for many years later.

Theodor Schwann

1838 - 1839

Theodor was a German physiologist who defined the building blocks of animal life. Schleiden reported his findings of plant cells to him and they formulated together the basic formula of biology. He stated that all living things are composed of cells and cell products, which later became the cell theory still in reference today. He published this theory in books of all his observations.

Matthias Schlieiden


Schleiden was a German of many science professions. he worked alongside with Theodor Schwanna to form what we know today as the cell theory. Theodor stated that all plants are composed of cells, and Schleiden put this in to his own eyes. Schleiden found that different parts of the plant organism are composed of cells. This theory is one scientists still reference today. Beyond Theodors initial discovery of cells in plants Schlieden looked closer at the specific creatures and found the nucleus and its role in cells reproduction.

Rudolf Virchow


Rudolf was German physician of experience; anthropologist pathologist, prehistorian, biologist, writer, editor, politician and public health relations. Virchow seemed never to be at rest with new discoveries in all his fields throughout his life. But he always had a peculiar opposition to the theory of spontaneous generation, and was out to prove its falsity. Through his research he did f]prove this theory wrong even with everyone's strong want to believe, he demonstrated cells division, even without full comprehension at the time, and the concept of cell reproduction. And he also contributed to earlier research stating not all plants have cells, another critical component in the cell theory.