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Metius, Jacob

1. Dates
Born: Alkmaar, Netherlands, date unknown
Died: Alkmaar, 1628.
Dateinfo: Birth Unknown
Lifespan: N/A
2. Father
Occupation: Engineer
His father was a cartographer and military engineer.
Considering his career, he had to be prosperous.
3. Nationality
Birth: Alkmaar, Netherlands
Career: Netherlands
Death: Alkmaar, Netherlands
4. Education
Schooling: No University
Apparently no higher education. He learned lens grinding.
5. Religion
Affiliation: assume Calvinist
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Instrumentation
7. Means of Support
Primary: Instruments
An instrument-maker in Alkmaar, specializing in grinding lenses.
8. Patronage
Type: None
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Instruments
He is a co-discover of the telescope; one of the first to bring together a concave and a convex lens in a tube. He applied for a patent in 1608, but could not establish priority over H. Lippershey, who applied a few months previously.
He made several different inventions, but was extremely secretive about them, and burned all of his instruments before he died.
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. Bruinvis, "Metius" [in Dutch], Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, 1 (Leiden, 1911), cols. 1328-1329.
  2. A. Van Helden, The Discovery of the Telescope.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

1995 Al Van Helden
Last updated
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