The Evolution of Eyewear

The first actual documented case of eyeglasses was during the thirteenth century, by Giordano da Pisa [Jordan of Pisa, Italy]. However, as he chose to keep the invention to himself, roughly twenty years later, a colleague of his, Alessandro della Spina of Pisa recreated the new novelty and shared them with the world. Another "father of optometry", leading the way for the creation of glasses was Roger Bacon. However, long before Bacon started his experiments magnifying bits of glass for lenses, or it was presented to the Italian public, traces of early optical experimentation are known to be from early Chinese, and ancient Egyptian civilizations. Many took gemstones, water, and of course glass, to bend, twist and shape light to better effect the eye. However, it wasn't until the thirteenth century that the concept of prescription eyeglasses came to play. There is also new evidence that shows China did a lot of importation of glasses during the fifteenth century.

The next several centuries solidified eyeglasses as a proper tool of vision correction. The times of having to hold the lenses up to one's eyes were long gone, and the typical design at this time would fold at the bridge [unlike our current design that allows arms to wrap around our ears]. This caused a lot of arched necks for the glasses-wearers of the time period. As time went on, the models became more user-friendly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - particularly once arms were presented. The glasses frames started to be marketed more, and therefore practical needs were addressed, such as size and weight.

The styles for eyeglasses from china frames during the twentieth century were the turning points to the style of the time period. The 1920s allowed for a concession of glasses, whereas frames of that time period were perfectly applicative to the "flapper girl" style of the era. The style drastically changed in the 1950s, with the rise of the angled corners we now refer to as the cat-eye style. The fifties and sixties brought out larger plastic frames in the coveted wayfarer style, before the 1970s brought back square edges. The 1980s and nineties focused primarily on awkwardly fitting clothes, colors, and of course... glasses. The Sally Jesse Raphael glasses became all too popular, and just as quickly, met it's demise. It has not been until the twenty-first century that eyeglasses have started the recycling phase. While new developments likely continue, most of the styles remind us of a different time, from the past.

The evolution of prescription eyeglasses has grown insurmountably since they were first invented centuries ago. Just as much technological advancement, corrective eyewear keeps getting smaller, and even more convenient. They went from heavy, cumbersome objects, to intricate optical corrections, such as multifocal glasses, contacts, and even surgeries to restore vision needs. Of course we do not know where research will take us, and can only expect even better options in the future. This was the current evolution of eyewear from idooptical.