The invention of glasses
According to some sources the invention of the first wearable pair of
eyeglasses occurred in the 13th century in Italy.
Salvino D'Armate probably invented eyeglasses in around 1285, though
various sources suggest an earlier origin. He shared the invention of
his new device with Allesandro della Spina, an Italian monk, who made it
public and is often credited with inventing eyeglasses.
The first eyeglasses had frames made of metal or bone and had lenses
made out of quartz because the ''opticians'' of that time didn't have
the capabilities of producing flawless lenses in glass.
In the 14th century, Venetian craftsmen were making "disks for the
eyes". Italians gave these glass disks that were finely ground the name
lenses because they were similar in shape to lentil beans. The earliest
lenses were convex, the bulged outward in the middle, and they were used
to correct far-sightedness.
By the 15th century, spectacles had found their way to China.In 1451
Nicholas of Cusa in Germany produced eyeglasses to aid people who were
near-sighted using concave lenses that were thinner at the center and
thicker at the ends.
Early eyeglasses had glass lenses set into heavy frames of wood, lead
Natural materials of leather, bone and horn were later used for
production of frames.
In the early 17th century, lighter frames of steel were invented. The
modern style of eyeglasses frame, which could be placed over the ears
and nose, was invented in 1727 by British optician Edward Scarlett.
American scientist and philosopher Benjamin Franklin is credited with
the invention of bifocals, dividing his lenses for distant and near
These two lenses were held together in a metal frame.
Sir George Biddle Airy, an English astronomer and mathematician,
invented glasses to correct astigmatism in 1827 which were meant to be
held by hand. Later glasses were designed to be held in place by ribbon
or by exerting pressure on the bridge of the nose, such as with
Construction of frames also improved over the centuries, and today
they are made in a wide array of styles and designs. Frames are
generally produced of metal or plastic and lenses are produced of glass
In 1955 the unbreakable lenses were invented and in 1971 a new lens
were developed which combined the properties of plastic with glass.