19th Century Humanities

Artifact 9

             Throughout the mid-1800s, microscopes continued to improve in quality, so does the number and availability for these instruments. These quality microscopes were produced commercially. By 1850s, a various types of selection of microscopes were produced in Britain and all throughout Europe.

                     In 1826, a scientist named Joseph Jackson Lister made a major discovery. He developed an ‘achromatic’ lens which compensated for a distortion called ‘chromatic aberration’. With this, people were able to look into the detailed part of a flea head. In the 1720s, only flea legs could be seen through microscope. But after his discovery, a more detailed version of the flea can be observed. 

             In the 1830s, many diseases were fatal in Britain, such as typhoid. Scientists then started investigated cures for those diseases since many of the people were dying, some were infectious by the lack of hygiene.

                      In 1840, the most significant innovation of microscope was discovered, introduced by Giovanni Amici, the oil immersion technique, increasing the validity of watching tiny objects by immersing the observed object in a medium with a higher refractive index than air.

             This picture is a picture I have drawn to depict the enhancement of microscopes in the 1800s. Research institutes started funding medical scientists with space, equipments, and money. These fundings greatly gives scientists a better environment, therefore generating new technological advancements. The technological advances then leads  to a better and more improved microscopes and thermometers, which also led to inventions of other new scientific instruments such as ophthalmoscope and sphygmograph. Microscopes provided a new understanding of the body. For instance, it contributed to the germ theory of diseases by Louis Pasteur in 1861. Discovering more various types of diseases may also mean new antibiotics for cures. 


1)      A) Which main topic does the artifact relate to? In what ways?
          This artifact is related to Universe through a Microscope because the picture illustrates the structure of the microscope and the diseases discovered with a microscope.

         B) Which other main topics does it also relate to?
          This can also relate to human health because developing new antibiotics means better hygiene environment for humans and also another cure/vaccine for serious diseases.

2) Why did you choose this artifact, and how much time did you spend creating and/ or processing it?
     I chose this artifact because a drawing can be a good visual presentation for topics like microscope. It can very well show the detailed part of a structure and can also show the very delicate part of a bacteria or a disease that can only be seen under microscopes. I spent about 3 hours creating this artifact.

3) What insights and understanding have you gained from the creation and/or processing of this artifact?
    This artifact made me understand how enhanced microscopes were in the 1800s in Britain. Many of which were major discoveries.
4) Does this artifact reflect your best work and/or ideas? Why, or why not?
      This artifact reflects my best work because it allows me to illustrate my thoughts and facts through my ideas. 

5) Rate this artifact on a scale of -5 to 5 for the following 4 criterion:   
            A) impact on the quality of your portfolio                          3   
            B) Impact on your level of happiness/enjoyment                4   
            C) impact on your learning                                               2   
            D) Level of creativity and originality                                 3
6) Any additional comments.