When were the first glasses invented?
Wed, Aug 18, 21 By : KoalaEye Optical
In the previous article, we discussed “What are the brands of rimless eyeglasses for women?“. In this article, let’s talk about “When were the first glasses invented?”. When were the first glasses invented? No one knows when the first pair of glasses were invented, but we do know that the grinding techniques for making simple magnifying glasses have been around since 1000 AD, especially in regions where glasses were already produced (including northern Italy). The earliest artwork of glasses appears...

In the previous article, we discussed “What are the brands of rimless eyeglasses for women?“. In this article, let’s talk about “When were the first glasses invented?”.

When were the first glasses invented?

No one knows when the first pair of glasses were invented, but we do know that the grinding techniques for making simple magnifying glasses have been around since 1000 AD, especially in regions where glasses were already produced (including northern Italy). The earliest artwork of glasses appears in the Treviso Cathedral fresco painted by Tommaso de Modena in 1352. There is reliable evidence that eyeglasses were invented in Italy in the late 13th century. The first pair we think of as eyeglasses appeared in Italian pizza in the late 12th century and looked more like two small magnifying glasses (made of raised glass) riveted together at the top of the handle. In 1266, The English Franciscan Monk Roger Bacon wrote about the scientific principles of corrective lenses, but there is no evidence that he applied this knowledge to the manufacture of eyeglasses.

Early glasses

The first inventor of wearable glasses is not known. However, it was the Romans who first discovered the use of glass to enhance their ability to see small words, creating small magnifying glasses with spheres. The first known wearable glasses in history appeared in Italy in the 13th century. They were used mainly by monks, and became popular little by little during the Renaissance, as the technology improved. As their popularity grew, the Italian glasses spread throughout Europe, mostly within reach of the wealthy. Because learning was a prized attribute during the Renaissance, glasses were a status symbol of wisdom and prosperity. With the temple extending above the ear, the glasses are no longer required by hand.

Roger Bacon

One of the first people credited with inventing glasses was an English friar in the 13th century, Roger Bacon. In his Opus Majus (c. 1266), he outlined the scientific principles of the use of corrective lenses. Some writers believed that monks or friars possessed secret knowledge about glasses, which they later disseminated around the world. Most famously, William Molyneux wrote in his Dioptrica Nova (1692). Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Bacon ever applied his theoretical knowledge of "perspective" (optics).

The development of glasses

In 1451, Nicholas of Cusa of Germany invented a lens that was thinner in the middle and thicker at the end to help short-sighted people. In 1727, Edward Scarlett, an English optician, invented modern frames that could be worn over ears and noses. Benjamin Franklin, an American scientist, and philosopher invented bifocals, which divide the lenses into far and near parts. The two lenses are held together by a metal frame. Frame construction has improved over the centuries, and today frames have come in different kinds of styles and designs. Unbreakable lenses were invented in 1955, and in 1971 a new type of lens combining plastic and glass properties was invented.

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