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One of the greatest Canadian innovations of the 1930's was the development of the electron microscope into the first practical model. It was developed in 1938 at the University of Toronto by Eli Franklin Burton, Cecil Hall, James Hillier, and Albert Prebus.
The contributions of these men was a culmination of years of researching and developing a machine that could produce higher magnifications. The first model was invented by German engineers in 1931. It worked well, but had limited magnification. That same year, the Siemens Company research director, Reinhold Rudenberg, patented the invention. Six years later, Siemens began further research to develop machines with stronger magnification and clarity of image finally culminating in the development of the TEM (Transmission Electron Microscope) in 1939. But the Canadians developed theirs first.
We thank the original German designers of the electron microscope for their ingenuity, resourcefulness, and creativity. Science and medicine owes them a lot. But, inventions are improved through innovation and our Canadian friends helped to develop this incredible machine into what it is today.
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