The History of Eyeglasses is a Mixture of Legends and Facts

The origin of eyeglasses is shrouded in the mysteries of time. So many stories have been told about the origin of eyeglasses that it is impossible to separate the myths and the legends from the facts.

How And When Were Eyeglasses Invented?

Seneca, a Roman tragedian, is said to have used water filled glass globes to read books. This was as early as in 300 BC. Nero, the Roman Emperor uses to view his gladiators fight through an emerald.

It can be safely said that the modern eyeglasses were invented in Italy around 1280-1300. Who actually invented them is still a mystery. Some theories are:

o Salvino D’Armate is said to have invented them in 1284.
o Roger Bacon may have invented them in 1262. This theory is backed by written proof.
o A manuscript dated 1289 speaks of eyeglasses which helped the writer see better
o A sermon by a monk names Fra Giordano da Rivalto delivered a sermon in which he said that eyeglasses were invented in around 1285 and that he himself had met the inventor.
o An unnamed and unknown Dominican monk is said to be the inventor of the eyeglasses

Of the many myths and legends, it is difficult to determine which is true and which is not. Mankind has been looking through glass and wondering at its effect on our vision since centuries.

It is difficult to say at what point did somebody went ahead and actually invented the eyeglasses. However, what is a fact is that eyeglasses were indeed invented and helped restore proper vision to billions of men and women all over the world.

When eyeglasses were first invented, they were useful to cure just farsightedness and Presbyopia. It was only when concave lenses were discovered that myopia could be cured.

It was only in 1604 that people understood how concave and convex lenses when Johannes Kepler explained it in detail. Necessity is the mother of invention.

This was proved when Benjamin Franklin became tired of switching glasses and invented the bifocals to deal with myopia and Presbyopia simultaneously. This took place in the year 1874 and another chapter was added to the saga of eyeglasses.

A Look Into Modern Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses have come a long way since its modest beginning. Today, eyeglasses are no longer as essential as they were a century ago. Contact lenses have become more popular as compared to eyeglasses. In fact, contact lenses are better than eyeglasses in curing defective vision.

It was feared that eyeglasses would become redundant after contact lenses were invented. Further, laser corrective surgery made it possible to cure the defect completely and permanently. However, eyewear has made a comeback.

The comeback of eyeglasses has been a grand one. It has returned as a fashion accessory. Newer and better technology like shape retaining alloys and spring hinges has made eyeglasses easier to wear.

Today, eyeglasses are worn for pleasure and convenience. They are worn because it makes us look good and smart. Of course, they are useful in correcting defective vision as well. That is the reason why eyeglasses are still popular.