Things you didn’t know about glasses yet!

Been in the four-eye club since the dawn of days? Well,a lot of us have! But, do you ever wonder what life must be if eyeglasses hadn’t been invented? Imagine what it would be to not see the world around in all its beauty. Oh, of course, today with so much technology around, we are sure something would have been innovated. But what about generations till now!

I felt like I must go into the history of where eyeglasses came from; how did someone master the science of right lenses that could correct my vision; I mean, it’s quite mind-boggling how an external object can correct my vision! It’s kind of what it would feel like when one’s on a ventilator and external objects are driving my organs!

And, boy, was I surprised! Let me tell you all that I found:

We go back to 54-68 AD:

Reading-Stones-(2)

The first known use of a correction glass to improve vision goes back to Roman Empire, during a sports event. It spawned over 2,000 years of innovation and inventions that would help the audience see better and enjoy.

1200-1300 AD

history2

A common man in Italy created the first pair of spectacles! Voila!

These were mostly used by Monks and scholars who would work on ancient manuscripts. And later during the mid 1300s Riveted spectacles were introduced that allowed balance.

The Guggenheim Press was invented which meant more books and, of course, more spectacles! And for the first time, the poor were also able to buy and wear glasses which were braced on wood (well, that fashion is back now!) were often sold by street vendors.

1600-1700 AD

shakespeare with eyeglasses

The first spectacles with nose bridge and temples came into the picture. These would balance the spectacles well, add style and made convenient for people to watch Shakespeare’s plays!

“Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day.”
—Macbeth

Oh! I so wish Iwas born in those times – to watch Shakespeare with my bare, naked eyes!

Umm… coming back to the history of glasses…

1900s-1950s

cat eye glasses for women

World War-I led to the birth of Bausch & Lomb. And by then, movies and television had spurred a greater demand for eyeglasses. The first Ray-Ban Aviators were developed in the ’30s at the request of US Air Force and are in vogue ever since!

In the 1950s, the eyeglasses trend hit a new peak,with icons like Marilyn Monroe’s iconic Cat-eye glasses to Buddy Holly’s thick framed black glasses. They were all a rage!

1960s-80s

ladies eyeglasses

The first light-weight plastic lens was manufactured in the ‘60s, right on time for The Beatles to get their groove on and the world got introduced to the legendary John Lennon glasses (All you need is loovvve… and all I need are those glasses!).

In 1987, the newest polycarbonate lens which was thin and distortion-free was invented. The ’80s were all about oversized round or square glasses, just like the ones we have seen Mrs. Doubtfire wearing.

1990s-Today

shahrukh-khan-sunglasses

Oh, the 90s!

That was the time when all of us were watching Dekh Bhai Dekh, Malgudi days, Seinfeld.

Looking back on that period of our lives brings back oodles of memories and also how the eyewear fashionhas changed tremendously! The ’90s ushered in a more minimal and serious fashion, which included eyewear,that was simple, black shades, sporty shapes and the return of the round frames.

And today, we’re going back to those glasses and proudly call them vintage! Seems like history does repeat itself!

Preetika Ashok
A grammar Nazi, who takes everything with a pinch of humor. Her sarcasm and satire are to watch out for.
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