Cell biology is generally considered to have arisen after World War II and has coevolved with particular technological developments, most prominently the electron microscope. Despite extraordinary success in describing both the structure and function of cells, modern cell biology tends to be overshadowed by molecular biology, which developed in the same period. The standard fable about the origins of molecular biology is that physicists became interested in biology, and they capitalized on genetics and X-ray crystallography to discover the structure of DNA and generated explanations of biological phenomena through the close study of biological molecules and their interactions. While the origins of cell biology actually date to the 1830s, the field cohered in significant ways in 1924, with publication of the first comprehensive cytology textbook, General Cytology . This book not only treated cytology comprehensively, but it included chapters that went beyond the usual morphological considerations to include the chemical and physical activities of cells, and new techniques such as cellular microsurgery and tissue culture. General Cytology represented a new era of multi-perspectival cell biology, and it now serves as the inspiration for this work, which narrates the evolution of cell biology and provides a multi-disciplinary exploration of the long trajectory of cell biology and its import in shaping biological understanding.