The son of a Chancery clerk, "Microscope" Baker was apprenticed to John Parker, a bookseller, though he later made his fortune teaching the deaf and dumb. He was Defoe's son-in-law, a member of the Society of Antiquaries (1740), Fellow of the Royal Society (1741), and a founder of the Society of Arts (1754). With Defoe, he edited the Universal Spectator and Weekly Journal (1728-33); he founded the Bakerian lecture of the Royal Society. Bonamy Dobree notes that "posterity's chief debt to him is as the introducer of rhubarb into England" OHEL (1959) 399.
An invocation of health: a poem. 1723.
Original poems: serious and humorous. 1725.
Second part of original poems. 1726
The universe: a poem. 1727.
Medulla poetarum romanorum: or the most beautiful and instructive passages of the Roman poets, with translations in English verse. 2 vols, 1737.
The works of Moliere [trans, with James Miller]. 8 vols. 1739.
The universal spectator, ed. Baker. 1728-33; 4 vols, 1756.
The microscope made easy. 1743.
Employment for the microscope. 1753.