Wrote Letter L-073 of 1678-05-31 to Nehemiah Grew about teeth, bone, hair, and sperm and what de Graaf got wrong about ovulation

May 31, 1678
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Text of the letter in the original Dutch and in English translation from Alle de Brieven. The Collected Letters at the DBNL - De Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren

The original manuscript on eight folio pages, written and signed by Leeuwenhoek, with three figures on separate, smaller sheets, is preserved at the Royal Society (MS. 1864. Early Letters L1.36). An English translation is Early Letters L1.37.

An excerpt in English was published in Philosophical Transactions, vol. 12, no. 140, pp. 1002-03, dated 31 August 1678, directly following an excerpt from Letter L-070 of 18 March 1678. An excerpt in Latin was published in vol. 12, no. 142, pp. 1045-46, dated 28 February 1679, as the fourth part of an article about Leeuwenhoek's observations of sperm. See Publication history below.

Leeuwenhoek wrote this letter to Nehemiah Grew about:

  • Regnier de Graaf's questionable theories about ovulation in women
  • further observations about sperm of rabbits and dogs
  • the structure of teeth and bone and the growth of hair