Spyglasses in Minecraft

In July 30th, 2022, I first saw the Minecraft’s Taking Inventory: Spyglasses article on my Nintendo Switch.

In the real world, no-one’s exactly sure who invented the spyglass. The earliest written record we have is from a patent application filed by spectacle-maker Hans Lippershey in the Netherlands in 1608, which wasn’t granted because another inventor filed a similar patent a few weeks later, and so the judge figured that everyone knew about it already.

Nonetheless, word of Lippershey’s patent application spread across Europe and reached astronomer Galileo Galilei, who refined the design substantially in the next few years – taking it from 3x magnification to 8x, and then an impressive 23x. With this 23x telescope, he discovered the moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus, and the rotation of the Sun.

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