Saturday, August 20, 2011


Glasses, also known as eyeglasses (formal), spectacles or simply specs (informal), are frames bearing lenses worn in front of the eyes. They are normally used for vision correction or eye protection. Safety glasses are a kind of eye protection against flying debris or against visible and near visible light or radiation. Sunglasses allow better vision in bright daylight, and may protect against damage from high levels of ultraviolet light. Other types of glasses may be used for viewing visual information (such as stereoscopy) or simply just for aesthetic or fashion purposes.Historical types of glasses include the pince-nez, monocle, lorgnette, and scissor or scissors-glasses.
Modern glasses are typically supported by pads on the bridge of the nose and by temple arms (sides) placed over the ears. CR-39 lenses are the most common plastic lenses due to their low weight, high scratch resistance, low dispersion, and low transparency to ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses are the lightest and most shatter-resistant, making them the best for impact protection.An unpopular aspect of glasses is their inconvenience. Through modern frames can be both lightweight and flexible, and new lens materials and optical coatings are resistant to breakage or scratching, glasses can still cause problems during rigorous sports. Visibility can be significantly reduced by becoming greasy, trapping vapour when eating hot food, swimming, walking in rain or rapid temperature changes (such as walking into a warm building from cold temperatures outside). Scraping, fracturing, or breakage of the lenses require time-consuming and costly professional repair.
The earliest historical reference to magnification dates back to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs in the 5th century BC, which depict "simple glass meniscal lenses". The earliest written record of magnification dates back to the 1st century AD, when Seneca the Younger, a tutor of Emperor Nero of Rome, wrote: "Letters, however small and indistinct, are seen enlarged and more clearly through a globe or glass filled with water". Nero (reigned 54–68 AD) is also said to have watched the gladiatorial games using an emerald as a corrective lens.The use of a convex lens to form a magnified image is discussed in Alhazen's Book of Optics (1021). Its translation into Latin from Arabic in the 12th century was instrumental to the invention of eyeglasses in 13th century Italy.Englishman Robert Grosseteste's treatise De iride ("On the Rainbow"), written between 1220 and 1235, mentions using optics to "read the smallest letters at incredible distances". A few years later, Roger Bacon is also known to have written on the magnifying properties of lenses in 1262.Sunglasses, in the form of flat panes of smoky quartz, were used in China in the 12th century., the Inuit have used snow goggles for eye protection. However, they did not offer any corrective benefits and the use by historians of the term "sunglasses" is anachronistic before the twentieth century.The first eyeglasses were made in Italy at about 1286, according to a sermon delivered on February 23, 1306 by the Dominican friar Giordano da Pisa (ca. 1255 - 1311): "It is not yet twenty years since there was found the art of making eyeglasses, which make for good vision ... And it is so short a time that this new art, never before extant, was discovered. And the lecturer said: I saw the one who first discovered and practiced it, and I talked to him." Giordano's colleague Friar Alessandro della Spina of Pisa (d. 1313) was soon making eyeglasses. The Ancient Chronicle of the Dominican Monastery of St. Catherine in Pisa records: "Eyeglasses, having first been made by someone else, who was unwilling to share them, he [Spina] made them and shared them with everyone with a cheerful and willing heart."By 1301, there were guild regulations in Venice governing the sale of eyeglasses.

Sexy Glasses
(Although there have been claims that Salvino D'Armate of Florence invented eyeglasses, these claims have been exposed as hoaxes.Furthermore, although there have been claims that Marco Polo encountered eyeglasses during his travels in China in the 13th century, no such statement appears in his accounts.Indeed, the earliest mentions of eyeglasses in China occur in the 15th century and those Chinese sources state that eyeglasses were imported.
The earliest pictorial evidence for the use of eyeglasses is Tommaso da Modena's 1352 portrait of the cardinal Hugh de Provence reading in a scriptorium. Another early example would be a depiction of eyeglasses found north of the Alps in an altarpiece of the church of Bad Wildungen, Germany, in 1403.

These early spectacles had convex lenses that could correct both hyperopia (farsightedness), and the presbyopia that commonly develops as a symptom of aging. It was not until 1604 that Johannes Kepler published the first correct explanation as to why convex and concave lenses could correct presbyopia and myopia.
The American scientist Benjamin Franklin, who suffered from both myopia and presbyopia, invented bifocals. Serious historians have from time to time produced evidence to suggest that others may have preceded him in the invention; however, a correspondence between George Whatley and John Fenno, editor of The Gazette of the United States, suggested that Franklin had indeed invented bifocals, and perhaps 50 years earlier than had been originally thought.
The first lenses for correcting astigmatism were constructed by the British astronomer George Airy in 1825.

Over time, the construction of spectacle frames also evolved. Early eyepieces were designed to be either held in place by hand or by exerting pressure on the nose (pince-nez). Girolamo Savonarola suggested that eyepieces could be held in place by a ribbon passed over the wearer's head, this in turn secured by the weight of a hat. The modern style of glasses, held by temples passing over the ears, was developed some time before 1727, possibly by the British optician Edward Scarlett. These designs were not immediately successful, however, and various styles with attached handles such as "scissors-glasses" and lorgnettes were also fashionable from the second half of the 18th century and into the early 19th century.
In the early 20th century, Moritz von Rohr at Zeiss (with the assistance of H. Boegehold and A. Sonnefeld), developed the Zeiss Punktal spherical point-focus lenses that dominated the eyeglass lens field for many years.

Despite the increasing popularity of contact lenses and laser corrective eye surgery, glasses remain very common, as their technology has improved. For instance, it is now possible to purchase frames made of special memory metal alloys that return to their correct shape after being bent. Other frames have spring-loaded hinges. Either of these designs offers dramatically better ability to withstand the stresses of daily wear and the occasional accident. Modern frames are also often made from strong, light-weight materials such as titanium alloys, which were not available in the earlier times.

No comments:

Post a Comment