5 Surprising Facts About Eyeglasses

For those Googling “affordable glasses near me,” you might have received mixed results that range from clinic recommendations like Dr. Tavel Family Eye Care down to information about eyeglasses. This may have you wonder more about the origins of eyeglasses and what more is there to learn about these visual aids.

While your eye doctor in Bloomington Indiana can acquaint you with some facts about eyeglasses, here are some interesting tidbits to think of: 

  1. It Started with Vision Aids

The earliest glasses were known as reading stones, invented during 1,000 AD! The design of eyeglasses back then looks similar to the ones we wear today, actually.

Back then, it was a metal frame with two crystal or glass stones that a user had to hold up to his eyes. When someone was to hover the vision aid over text, the small letters look larger, so it’s easier to read.

  1. The First Eyeglasses 

While there’s still debate on exactly when and where vision aids and eyeglasses were made, many believe that wearable eyeglasses originated in Pisa, Italy in 1284.

These eyeglasses were merely glass lenses installed in heavy frames, which users would either hold up with their hands or place on their nose bridges. Such frames were usually made of natural materials, like bone, copper, leather, or wood. So, you can imagine how heavy and uncomfortable they were to carry and wear! 

  1. About Modern Eyeglasses 

Modern eyeglasses were created in Spain back in the 1700s, with manufacturers attaching ribbons to lenses. The ribbons would be looped around the wearer’s ears to prevent glasses from slipping down noses.

Shortly afterward, manufacturers invented the eyeglass frame’s modern temple arms! Lenses can now rest on the nose bridge and ears comfortably without the glasses slipping down. 

  1. It’s Not Just Glass! 

Contrary to what the name suggests, eyeglasses aren’t only made of glass. Most prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses are made from any of the following:

  • Polycarbonate: A very durable and shatter-resistant type of plastic
  • CR-38: A very durable type of plastic
  • Glass: Reliable lens material, particularly for those with very poor eyesight

Today, lenses are usually made from modern plastics using filters protecting the eyes from harmful UV rays. The lenses are now thinner and lighter compared to glass. Furthermore, they are more durable and won’t’ break as easily. 

  1. Who Created Bifocals? 

Ben Franklin was the Founding Father of the USA and invented the lightning rod. Interestingly enough, he was also the one who invented bifocal lenses! Since he was both far and near-sighted, he had to wear two pairs of eyeglasses, which is pretty tiring to do.

Because of his discomfort, he decided to cut the lenses from both his eyeglasses, placing half of the lenses in one frame. The lenses above would help him see from afar while the ones under are for reading and looking at objects from a close range. 

Wrapping It Up

If you need prescription eyeglasses, don’t hesitate to get checked by a reputable optometrist in your area.

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