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The Origins of Eyeglasses


Learn about the history of eyeglasses. These days, if your vision is deteriorating, no problem, go to the neighborhood eye and get yourself corrective glasses or contacts right away. But for the vast majority in human existence, no such convenience was available and imagine so many people simply living their lives with blurred vision. We take them for granted today but eyeglasses changed how we saw the world - literally. It is believed that the Roman philosopher named Seneca utilized a glass globe filled with water as a magnifier around 65 A.D. Then around 1000 A.D., a reading stone made a debut from an unknown inventor. That item was a glass sphere which allowed reading material to be magnified so letters could be seen easily. Certainly those would made for clunky eyeware. Italian glass blowers, however, began making these reading stones, which were very similar to traditional magnifying glasses. In 1268, Roger Bacon, an English philosopher wrote about the use of reading lenses. He wrote "such an instrument is useful to all persons and to those with weak eyes for they can see any letter". In 1284, an Italian man was credited with creating wearable spectacles. Keeping the eyeglasses attached to the head posed a problem until the 17th century. Spanish eyeglass makers began experimenting with silk ribbons that were attached to the lenses, but could also be looped over the ears of the wearer. In 1730, an optometrist in London created rigid pieces that would rest on the ears. Then in 1752, an eyeglass designer made pairs with double hinged side pieces. The style changed through the centuries. Between the 1500 and 1700s, the simplistic design featured circular cuts and a steel frame. By the 1800s, spectacles had extended temples to reduce pressure and by the late 18th century spectacles featured foldable temples. Pop quiz time, eyeglasses are a) why I am able to watch this video b) I am more of a contacts person c) don't need them, pilot vision here.


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