Reading glasses: Where they came from?
Eyes are the most sensitive part of the body. Even being the most sensitive area, it functions endlessly. While reading this article you are using your eyes and not your arms and legs continuously! People generally suffer from poor vision and have to rely on reading glasses. This is not something which belongs to the modern world; it dates back to so many years. Readers were invented way back in thirteenth century somewhere between 1268 and 1289 in Italy. The inventor of these glasses is not mentioned in records but it is presumed that it was the product of the mind of a scholar. The basic Italian spectacles just consisted of the frame which was held in the front of the eyes and balanced on nose. There was nothing to rest on the ears!
With the growth of print media and newspapers the demand for ‘comfortable’ lenses emerged. With the growing rate in literacy the demand for spectacles increased as most of the people suffered from unclear vision. By the onset of eighteenth century reading glasses started to be manufactured manually. It was at this time when the side or temple pieces resting over the year were invented to make the eyeglasses much more comfortable. The wearers were finally relieved from the balancing act as the ears kept hold of the glasses. The glasses at that time were made up of wood but a lack of shine does not mean lack of elegance and this is what these glasses reflected!
At the end of eighteenth century in 1784, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals. It was a major invention as there were endless people who were having difficulty in both their far and near vision. They had to carry two spectacles with different dioptics to complement their far and near vision. Bifocals solved this issue as it consists of glasses which assisted the suer for both far and near vision. At this time only wig spectacles were invented. They were called so as it was worn by people who wore wigs regularly. The temples of these glasses extended far beyond ears which used to hide beneath the wigs! The lens inserts of these eyeglasses were invented by Martin and were carved from cattle horn and became very famous. George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte used scissor spectacles which were invented specially for men. Lorgnette spectacles are also an invention of this period. These glasses had a single long handle and were hand held. They were used only when required. They were preferred by people especially women as with lorgnette they could avoid having glasses on their beautiful faces!
In the 1800s i.e., in the beginning of nineteenth century eye glasses were made in bulk and therefore became less costly and widely available. Even general stores started to keep an inventory of ready made glasses. Because of their increased usage, people started to feel concerned about the style. The eye glasses were considered as evidence of old age rather than a tool meant for vision care. Therefore people started to wear these glasses only when they needed. This ignorance and disliking towards spectacles led to the invention of folding reading glasses. It was first discovered by the French manufacturer who fitted the spring in the eye glasses which allowed them to be folded and carried easily.
In 1900s, a major breakthrough was noticed in the industry of reading glasses. Celebrities, Presidents and other distinguished people started using and flaunting their style with eyeglasses. At this time the glasses were light weight and less expensive. The 1930s saw the popularity of sunglasses due to the coloured lenses. Various advancements were carried out at this time to make the spectacles feasible for military pilots. With the increased usage of plastics in 1940s and advancements in moulding colourful frames made the plastics the first choice of manufacturers to make frames. At this time a wide variety of ready readers were made available in different colours of the rainbow.
After this time until today the world has encountered the improved versions of readers. From the 1950s until today spectacles are considered as a significant part of your wardrobe. There was a time when the person with reading glasses was ‘assumed’ to be a nerd or a book-worm! It was a tool to judge who is the un-coolest person at school, at university, at the office or anywhere else, but times have changed! Reading glasses have evolved itself from the nerd’s fashion to the accessory of the coolest people. Thanks to the stylish and trendy specs!
The designers are putting in blood and sweat to create a wide range of imaginative new optical products. These clear cut and clean glasses give you a filtered view of the world. Coloured patterns bring stunning sophistication from face to face and are liked by the young blood!
All the online retailers that sell these glasses with sturdy cases and a cleaning cloth. You can buy the readers paired with the vibrant blues, turquoise and teals frames. Some online portals also feature the dazzling exotic variety of glasses of seventeenth and eighteenth century. Gold tinted lenses which make a sepia like effect which were prevalent in 1950s. Silhouettes of eyewear glasses are reminiscent of yesteryear.
Spectacles are as inevitable like death and taxes! You know that you can’t really do away with them. Carrot juice can help but not always! When there is something which you have to do then there are two ways of accepting it, either you take it as a burden and accept it because you have no other choice or you transform things in the way that pleases your personality. The latter one shows your positivity about accepting the change rather than resisting it. So if you are prescribed reading glasses by your optician then start your search and buy reading glasses online! And for those who are not yet ‘blessed’ with spectacles need not lower their heart! They can choose the readers for them and get them fitted with zero lenses!