John Leonard Riddell

John Leonard Riddell

John Leonard Riddell

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John Leonard Riddell (February 20, 1807 – October 7, 1865) was a science lecturer, botanist, geologist, medical doctor, chemist, microscopist, numismatician, politician, and science fiction author in the United States. He was born in Leyden, Massachusetts, the son of John Riddell and Lephe Gates. He received his B.A. and M.A. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from professor Amos Eaton and his M.D. from Cincinnati College in 1836.American National Biography, Oxford Univ. Press, 2004

He lectured in Ogdensburg, New York, and then in Philadelphia and Cincinnati. From 1836 until his death in 1865, he was Professor of Chemistry at the Medical College of Louisiana (now Tulane University) in New Orleans. While there, he invented the first practical microscope to enable binocular viewing of objects through a single objective lens. In 1850, he also undertook one of the earliest and most extensive American microscopic investigations of cholera.

Riddell published a science fiction story giving an account of a fictional former student named Orrin Lindsay, who travelled to the moon and Mars.

Following his botanical explorations of Texas, he was appointed melter and refiner of the New Orleans Mint, a position confirmed by President John Tyler following...
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