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Spectacle Lens - History

The first eyeglasses were made in Italy at about 1286, according to a sermon delivered on February 23, 1306 by the Dominican friar Giordano da Pisa (ca. 1255 - 1311): "It is not yet twenty years since there was found the art of making eyeglasses, which make for good vision ... And it is so short a time that this new art, never before extant, was discovered ... I saw the one who first discovered

Later developments
The American scientist Benjamin Franklin, who suffered from both myopia and presbyopia, invented bifocals. Serious historians have from time to time produced evidence to suggest that others may have preceded him in the invention; however, a correspondence between George Whatley and John Fenno, editor of The Gazette of the United States, suggested that Franklin had indeed invented bifocals, and perhaps 50 years earlier than had been originally thought.

The first lenses for correcting astigmatism were constructed by the British astronomer George Airy in 1825.

Over time, the construction of spectacle frames also evolved. Early eyepieces were designed to be either held in place by hand or by exerting pressure on the nose (pince-nez)

The modern style of glasses, held by temples passing over the ears, was developed some time before 1727, possibly by the British optician Edward Scarlett.

Despite the increasing popularity of contact lenses and laser corrective eye surgery, glasses remain very common, as their technology has improved.


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