Glasses

Glasses, also known as eyeglasses (formal) or spectacles, are frames bearing lenses worn in front of the eyes. They are normally used for vision correction.

Types of glasses include the pince-nez, monocle, lorgnette, and scissor or scissors-glasses.

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 and practiced it, and I talked to him." Giordano's colleague Friar Alessandro della Spina of Pisa (d. 1313) was soon making eyeglasses. The Ancient Chronicle of the Dominican Monastery of St. Catherine in Pisa records: "Eyeglasses, having first been made by someone else, who was unwilling to share them, he [Spina] made them and shared them with everyone with a cheerful and willing heart." By 1301, there were guild regulations in Venice governing the sale of eyeglasses.

These early spectacles had convex lenses that could correct both hyperopia (farsightedness), and the presbyopia that commonly develops as a symptom of aging. It was not until 1604 that Johannes Kepler published the first correct explanation as to why convex and concave lenses could correct presbyopia and myopia.

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