In Uncategorized on April 25, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Object: Eyeglasses

Associated Idea(s) (Discrete): Eyewear

Associated Idea(s) (Homogenized): Vision, Optometry, Prosthetics

Emerged circa: 1289 AD

Geographical origins: Italy

Cultural heritage: Various

Conceiver/Creator (if known): Most likely a monk or craftsperson in Pisa.

Brief description: Eyeglasses (or “occhiale”) were an adaptation of the magnifying glass that had been in use for centuries prior. The first pair, whose exact origins are unknown, were simply two of these magnifying glasses joined together by a bridge that made them able to be worn.  Early adaptations used materials such as crystal and concave glass for the lenses, while bone, leather and various metals were used for the frames.

Historical significance: Allowed for monks of the time, particularly those who were up in years, to continue reading scripture well into advanced age.  Also contributed to developments with other sight-enhancement technologies.

General Impact: Enhanced and extended the power of sight for countless individuals throughout the world.

Offspring: Contact Lenses

Relatives: Magnifying Glass, Telescope, Binoculars

Sources, references, links:


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