Famous Dutch Inventors & Discoverers

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 1 Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: October 24, 1632
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Delft, Netherlands
Died: August 26, 1723

Seventeenth-century Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, also known as the Father of Microbiology, is remembered as a pioneer of microscopy. His contribution to microbiology included the discovery of spermatozoa, bacteria, and muscle fibers. Though he had not authored any book, his letters to the Royal Society were later published.

 2 Christiaan Huygens

Christiaan Huygens
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist
Birthdate: April 14, 1629
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands
Died: July 8, 1695

From proposing the wave theory of light to discovering the actual shape of the rings of Saturn and inventing the pendulum clock, Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens had contributed a lot to science. Born to a diplomat, Huygens had the privilege of an elite education but remain sickly throughout his life.

 3 Andre Geim

Andre Geim
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 21, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sochi, Russia

Andre Geim is a Russian-born Dutch-British physicist. He has been associated with the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester for several years. In 2010, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Konstantin Novoselov in recognition of his work on graphene. He is also a recipient of the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics. 

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 4 Zacharias Janssen

Zacharias Janssen
Famous As: Spectacle-maker
Birthdate: 1585 AD
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands
Died: 1638 AD

Dutch optician Zacharias Janssen is credited with discovering the compound microscope and the first optical telescope. Since he worked along with his father, Hans, many believe Hans had a greater role in his inventions, while others feel the claims of his inventions were mere fabrications by his son.

 5 Willem Einthoven

Willem Einthoven
Famous As: Inventor of the first practical ECG
Birthdate: May 21, 1860
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Semarang
Died: September 29, 1927

Willem Einthoven was a Dutch physiologist and physician whose invention of the electrocardiogram in 1895 earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1924. He is also credited with theorizing the existence of Einthoven's triangle, which is named in his honor.

 6 Cornelis Drebbel

Cornelis Drebbel
Famous As: Inventor of world’s first navigable submarine
Birthdate: 1572 AD
Birthplace: Alkmaar
Died: November 8, 1633

Cornelis Drebbel was a Dutch inventor and engineer credited with building the first navigable submarine. He is also credited with contributing immensely to the development of chemistry, optics, control systems, and measurement. A street called Cornelis Drebbelweg in the Netherlands has been named in his honor.

 7 Jan van der Heyden

Jan van der Heyden
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: March 5, 1637
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gorinchem, Netherlands
Died: March 28, 1712

Jan van der Heyden was a Dutch painter, draughtsman, glass painter, and printmaker. One of the first Dutch exponents of painting townscapes, Jan van der Heyden was among the most prominent painters of the Dutch Golden Age. He was also an inventor and engineer who made major contributions to firefighting technology. He is credited with writing the first firefighting manual.

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 8 Laurens Janszoon Coster

Laurens Janszoon Coster
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: 1370 AD
Birthplace: Netherlands
Died: 1440 AD

Though not much is known about his life, Laurens Janszoon Coster is believed to have invented the process of printing. While many sources state Johannes Gutenberg had invented printing, Coster’s signature printing with sand from wooden molds seems more dated than Gutenberg’s method. No printed texts of Coster survive.

 9 Bernard D. H. Tellegen

Bernard D. H. Tellegen
Famous As: Engineer, Inventor
Birthdate: June 24, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Winschoten, Netherlands
Died: August 30, 1990

After obtaining his electrical engineering degree, Bernard D. H. Tellegen joined the Philips NatLab, where he co-invented the pentode vacuum tube, which was used widely in radios and amplifiers. He also invented the gyrator and taught at TU Delft. He was awarded the IEEE Edison Medal for his achievements.