The invention of spectacles has greatly influenced progress in the arts and sciences, yet it is not very clear who invented this instrument. In 1270, Marco Polo saw elderly Chinese using this device, which they claim to have originated in Arabia in the 11th century. [pic][pic][pic]
The spectacles evolved in the western world from the late 1200s onwards, with riveted spectacles used by monks and scholars, who held the lenses in front of there eyes, or balanced them on their noses. The invention of the printing press in 1452 encouraged the mass production of spectacles, along with the growing popularity of books. For the lower and middle classes, there were spectacles mounted in wood, horn, bone, etc, whereas the upper classes used hand held spectacles in gold or silver frames.
The significant advancement in frame design occurred in the 1600s, with rigid bridges that allowed the spectacles to remain in place. In the present times, there has been a tremendous progress in frames and lens acuity, with the spectacles, whether plain or prescription, becoming a fashion statement.
The Short History Of Contact Lenses
If you are of the view that contact lenses are a new invention, you are way off the mark. Leonardo Da Vinci first described and sketched his ideas of contact lenses way back in 1508! However, it took more than 300 years to fabricate and wear them.
Swiss physician A.E. Fick and Paris optician Edouard Kalt are credited with fitting the first contact lenses, in the late 1800s, for myopia and hyperopia. These heavy glass lenses could be used for a few hours of wear only.
Plastic came into use in 1936, when William Feinbloom, an optometrist in New York, made contact lenses with the central portion of glass surrounded by plastic in the periphery that covered the sclera. 1948 saw a Californian optometrist, Kevin Tuohy produce contact lenses completely made of plastic.
The same year, George Butterfield, an...