Since earlier microrganisms, such as yeasts for fermenting cereals and fruits to make beer and wine, were mentioned, I thought it would make sense to mention Antonie van Leeuwenhoek.
Many know him as the father of microbiology. However, did you know that this was discovered, by accident? Leeuwenhoek was a draper, that is he dealt in cloth goods, mainly for clothing and curtains and furniture covers. He was interested in making very fine designs and viewing the quality of cloth on a very small scale. So he developed lenses for magnifying cloth to see its quality. In the process he saw small organisms (which he called “animalcules, as they appeared like little animals to him). Over time his studies would reveal single celled organisms like the ones used to make beer, bread, and wine.
Albeit the production of beer, bread, and wine was well known by the 1600s when Leeuwenhoek discovered this. Nonetheless he was able to add to this discovery.
Would you like to do some cell culturing of your own?
I may even post a few recipes in the future.