Hooke Memorial at the foot of The Monument
(January 31st 2007; more)


Robert Hooke (18 July 1635 - 3 March 1703) - natural philosopher, inventor, architect....

Robert Hooke is one of the most neglected natural philosophers of all time. The inventor of, amongst other things, the iris diaphragm in cameras, the universal joint used in motor vehicles, the balance wheel in a watch, the originator of the word 'cell' in biology, he was Surveyor of the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666, architect, experimenter, worked in astronomy - yet is known mostly for Hooke's Law. He fell out with Newton, and certainly had a difficult temperament. He deserves more from History than he received in his lifetime.

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Images: Hooke memorial window, St Helen's Bishopsgate (now destroyed); flea, from Micrographia; title page from Micrographia; drawing of cells (the first Biological use of the word) in cork.

This edition: July 18th 2007

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