This online exhibition looks at the current pandemic from a historical perspective, in collaboration with the Delft School of Microbiology Archives at the Delft Science Centre.
Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV), which causes Tobacco Mosaic Disease, was the first virus to be recognized as an infectious biological agent smaller than even bacteria. This part of the exhibition is about how the Tobacco Mosaic disease led to important research on viruses, and the key players in this story.
Mayer, Ivanovski and Beijerinck
Martinus W. Beijerinck is often called the Father of Virology because of his important contribution to the discovery of the TMV. After he published his work, he recognized that his work was built on the work of two other scientists, namely Adolf Mayer and Dmitry Ivanovski.
Delft School of Microbiology, Beijerinck Collection
After becoming Professor of Microbiology at the Delft Polytechnic (now Delft University of Technology) in 1897, Beijerinck repeated his previous experiment.
Martinus Beijerinck is often called the Father of Virology, as he realised the infectious agent was biological rather than chemical, and self-replicating, but too small to be bacterial.
Eventually, Beijerinck became the first Professor of Microbiology at the Department of General Microbiology at Delft's Polytechnic (now Delft University of Technology). The lab of that department opened in 1895 and Beijerinck worked there until his retirement in 1921, when he was succeeded as Professor by Albert Jan Kluyver.
Beijerinck began his scientific life as a teacher of botany at an agricultural school in Wageningen.