Through the Looking Glass:
The History of Eyeglasses

Through the Looking Glass:
The History of Eyeglasses

optical services midwest city ok | Precision VisionGlasses have come a long way since they were initially worn by monks and scholars. And as one of the trendiest accessories around, glasses aren’t a trend that is going to go away anytime soon. From Benjamin Franklin all the way to Harry Potter, this article will explore the history of eyeglasses. Read on to learn more.

The Earliest Known Lenses

Although Benjamin Franklin invented the bifocals and the modern concept for glasses, the earliest known lenses were worn all the way in the 1200’s by monks and scholars. Made out of leather, eyeglasses and eyeglass frames were used to help with reading and writing. And with the development of the printing press, eyeglasses started to gain popularity as they were deemed to be a necessity.

Benjamin Franklin

The history of eyeglasses is most commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin. In the 1700’s, Benjamin Franklin reshaped the way that we see and use glasses by inventing frames that can both rest on the nose and sit on the ears. By allowing people the luxury to be able to see and simultaneously use their hands, these new frames were a real game changer. Additionally, Benjamin Franklin also invented the bifocal; dual lenses that allow you to see both near and far without having to change your glasses.


In the 1900’s, celebrities started sporting eyeglasses not just to be able to see better but to show off their sense of character as well. Gregory Peck in the 1960’s film To Kill a Mockingbird made glasses look sophisticated and fresh, whereas Iris Apfel made glasses stylish and artsy. And with the invention of the fictional wizard Harry Potter, glasses started to gain popularity in the early 2000’s.

With the invention of glasses came the ability to not only see but to show off your style as well. If you are in need of some new lenses, contact Precision Vision to schedule an eye appointment today!

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