The History of Eyeglasses – Creating Good Vision Throughout the Ages

The History of Eyeglasses: Creating Good Vision Throughout the Ages

It is easy to take it for granted that we have access to so many incredible medical options in our modern world. If you are having vision problems, then you can schedule an eye exam and access vision correction lenses within a few days.

Our ancestors didn’t have access to the same level of primary vision care. But, there were glasses and other options that have been used since the 13th century. It is interesting to learn about the development of eyeglasses throughout history:

Monks and Magnifying Glasses

Monks started using reading stones sometime between the years of 1000 and 1250 AD. Instead of having lenses that were worn on the face, the stones were placed on reading material to make the letters larger, like a magnifying glass. Then, the first wearable glasses were used sometime between the years 1260 and 1290. We don’t know who invented this idea.

Over time, the use of these spectacles spread through Europe, with different styles available. Prominent historical figures used these early eyeglasses, including Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin. In fact, Franklin was the inventor of the bifocal lenses, which made it possible for two aspects of vision correction to be achieved at the same time.

Fashion Forward in History

Even though eyeglasses have always offered functional benefits, eventually the use of designer frames became a fashion statement. In the 1800’s, men in the upper classes of society used the monocule, which was a lens designed for one eye. Then, the lorgnette was invented for women, which included two lenses that were attached to a long handle to be held up to the eyes.

The styles continued to change over the years, with celebrities and political figures setting the trends for the designs. Now, eyeglasses are available in a range of sizes, colors, and styles, giving you the option to choose a design that matches your preferences.

Pay attention to the changes in recent centuries, and you will see that the style shifts based on cultural preferences. For example, sometimes the statement glasses are more popular, with large, thick frames. In other style periods, people prefer the subtle appearance of thin frames and small lenses.

Choosing Eyeglasses to Match Your Style

Not only are designer eyeglasses available with metal and plastic frames, but you can also find a range of stylish sunglasses for outdoor wear. These darker lenses offer protection from the sun. Additionally, the designer sunglasses can be created with prescription lenses. So, you can make a statement with your eyewear and avoid squinting in the bright sunshine at the same time.

There’s no doubt that eyeglasses have had a major impact on trends throughout the years. This investment made it possible to improve vision and be stylish at the same time. Visit one of our four Chicago optometry offices to see the different frames that are available today. Our team at Village Eyecare is committed to offering the best products for our patients.