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Hans Lippershey

Hans Lippershey (1570(?)-1619) was a Dutch lensmaker, credited with creating and disseminating designs for the first practical telescope.

Crude telescopes and spyglasses may have been created much earlier, but Lippershey is believed to be the first to try and patent his design and make it available for wide use in 1608. He failed to receive a patent, but was handsomely rewarded by the Dutch government for copies of his design. A description of Lippershey's instrument quickly reached Galileo Galilei who created a working design in 1609, with which he made the observations found his Sidereus Nuncius of 1610.

There is a legend that Lippershey's children actually discovered the telescope while playing with flawed lenses in their father's shop, but this may be apocryphal.