The History of Glasses

Glasses have become a common sight and an essential part of outfit of most people we come across. It is as common as someone wearing a scarf in winter. Some people wear them because of their shortsightedness and others wear it protect their eyes from damaging UV radiations in daylight. But it is noteworthy to mention that seeing someone wear an optical aid was not that common some decades ago.

Just like other things that we use commonly to help make our life easier and better, glasses have come a long way as means of improving vision of the people with eyesight defects. During its development glasses have also become refined as they were not always the way we see them today as sleek and light weight objects that wear on our nose. In case you are wondering how glasses came to be the way they are today, here is a brief history of these optical aids that help people read, write, drive, carry out a surgery with precision and even shoot better.

History is blank about the actual inventor of glasses that can be worn on the face but historians have mentioned that the Romans were the earliest civilization which started the use of glass to help them read scriptures that were difficult to read with naked eye. In order to help them do so, Roman had created devices similar to modern magnifying glass which was spherical and helped them read fine and small scriptures with ease.

In renaissance, glasses developed rapidly into devices that could be worn or face or could be held in front of the eyes. Such glasses were mostly used by monks and were made out of blown out glass lenses which were fit into frames made up of ivory, wood, and even leather. Paintings from that era are an evidence of such glasses as some of them portrayed scholars wearing or holding glasses.

Field of optics was also advancing with the glasses as the eye care experts of that era used to determine the thickness of the glasses based upon the degree of short-sightedness that was experienced by a person. But it was an expensive thing and was synonymous with wealth, intelligence, and status. Every man could not afford glasses at that time.

After that the next major development in the field of optics came in 16th century when temples were developed for glasses to go over the ears which allowed the wearer of glasses to free their hands for other tasks during wearing a pair of glasses. Benjamin Franklin is notable for the next major development as he solved the problem near and far sightedness altogether by developing bifocal lens. Foldable or pocket glasses were also made during that time which allowed the user to fold and store the glasses in the pocket when they were not being used.

In 19th and 20th century, industrial revolution changed all the aspects of life as we know it. Glasses were also mass produced and not be hand therefore making them affordable to the working class. Cylindrical lenses were also developed in this time which helped people who suffered from astigmatism. So, the next time you wear glasses or see someone wearing it you should know that they have come a long way and have evolved tremendously.

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