Brief history of eyewear

January 10th, 2010 by Mark Burns Leave a reply »

When we think about all the inventions in history, we can never ignore the invention of eyewear. Without eyewear, our life will be much worse off.

The history of eyewear can be traced back to 2000 years ago when ancient Chinese were believed to have invented the first protective eyewear for shielding the eyes from some evil forces. Around 1000AD, the Italians developed the first eyewear called reading stone for the purpose of corrective aid. After reading stone, in late 13th century, it was also Italians who invented the first eyewear with sidebars.

As the main part of the eyewear, lenses went through a very long period of time to reach today’s shape. The early lenses were quartz. Inventors spent hundreds of years to make the lenses of visual aid out of glass after they solved the headaches of bubbles and other obstacles. Modern lenses are made of resin which is cheap and shatter-free.

Another part worth mentioning is the history of temples’ invention. In 17th century, Italians and Spanish tried to use ribbon over the ears to fix the eyewear on the nose. Adding to this idea, Chinese used stone weight to hold the eyewear in front of eyes. Finally in 1730, an British eyewear technician got the idea of today’s temples and successfully solved the problems of eyewear mounting.

Before 20th century, a lot of Europeans thought wearing eyewear is a thing of ugliness. With the advance of eyewear design and technology, nowadays people already think eyewear as a piece of face ornament boosting people’s attractiveness.


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