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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Eyeglasses Are Not What They Could Be

Italy and the United States are credited with the invention and development of eyeglasses, and now almost half of the population of the developed world wear them to improve their sight.

According to Bing, "The first wearable glasses known to history appeared in Italy during the 13th century. Primitive glass-blown lenses were set into wooden or leather frames (or occasionally, frames made from animal horn) and then held before the face or perched on the nose." American Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals in the early 1700s, and also created in the 1700s were temple pieces which are the stems that ride over the ears allowing people to wear glasses throughout the day. In 1962 the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company developed the first lightweight plastic lens. Since then I do not see that there has been significant improvement in eyewear other than colored frames, glitz n' glamour.

Wherever I go, whatever I do, I wear clunky glasses perched onto a well-worn dent in the bridge of my nose. The worst of it is that after hundreds of years of development on these awkward, uncomfortable contraptions which are eyeglasses, still more than a billion people throughout the world need them but cannot afford them and therefore cannot see with clarity. This causes such tristitia and furorem, sadness and anger.

Glasses Have Not Changed Significantly In About 60 Years

animation and still image by Annmarie Throckmorton 2021

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