The eyeglasses of today have evolved, that’s for sure. And love them or hate them, if you need glasses you know how important they are in helping you “see” your world.
Eyeglasses in the past
It wasn’t until the thirteenth century that people were able to improve their eyesight with the assistance of “visual aids.” Using a type of quartz, Italian monks crafted semi-shaped ground lenses which worked much like a magnifying glass. In 1267, Roger Bacon proved that small letters could be magnified using lenses that were ground in a specific way.
Murano’s Venetian glassworks was the birthplace of eyeglasses. It was the only factory that had the ability to manufacture soft glass. The eyeglasses were called “reading aids,” and had a convex lens; the edges were made from horn, wood or iron. These eyeglasses were used exclusively by far-sighted individuals.
About two-hundred years later, the first eyeglasses resembling today’s modern glasses were manufactured. The frames consisted of one piece of iron or bronze and only the very wealthy could afford them. Leather nose bridges also came into use as a way of making eyeglasses more comfortable and as a way of stopping the heavy frames from sliding off the nose.
Nuremberg Rimmed Glasses appeared in the eighteenth century and were given the name of “nose-crushers.” They were a hit because they offered a level of comfort that until then was impossible. Monocles also became popular and were worn by the dignified ladies and gentlemen of Germany and England. Large eyeglasses were considered a status symbol in Spain. The French, however, preferred the “pince-nez,” single lens glasses that were worn on the nose and held in place by the muscles around the eye.
We are the fortunate recipients of the evolution of eyeglasses – which now come in virtually all shapes and materials. Eyeglasses are the most important visual aid worldwide and have even become a popular fashion accessory. If it’s been a while since your last eye exam, it’s possible your prescription is out of date. Or, if you are looking to update your look with new frames, call to schedule an appointment, today: (800) 676-5050.