A short historical survey is given of the various kinds of pollen studies that had already been started before the twentieth century: pollen morphology, the identification and treatment of pollen-induced diseases such as hay fever, and the analysis of the origin of honey by its pollen content. Observations on fossil pollen are mentioned, which prepared the way for the studies by Von Post. Also described is the development in the peat studies of Von Post, which led to the method of pollen analysis and the introduction of the pollen diagram, in 1916. This opened a gateway to a most fruitful field of modern scientific activity, now half a century old, which is only very briefly discussed here.