17 May 2017

Archive About Eyeglasses, A Place to "See" the History of What Has Aided Our Vision Through Time!

Archive About Eyeglasses, A Place to "See" the History of What Has Aided Our Vision Through Time!

As someone who has worn glasses since she was 5 years old (except for two years when I had braces, and that’s another story), and who can only see out about 6 inches without glasses, I am extremely appreciative of my glasses.

Now, when I was a kid and had to wear cat eye ones, which at the time were not a fashion statement and just a vision necessity, I was less than thrilled.  Other than a few years dabbling with contacts (perpetual feeling of dirt in my eyes), I have just been a glasses kind of girl. 

So, you can imagine my interest when I learned that someone has an online archive about antique eyeglasses, antiquespectacles.com.

There is a nice overview article, Sharon eyeglass aficionado sees mass recognition.

Over the years, the site has become an online museum and encyclopedia on visual aid. It features thousands of images of spectacles that date as far back as the 13th century. Fleishman also posts related news, art, and history regularly. The site generates about a million hits a month, he said.

“Eyeglasses are one of the greatest inventions of all time, yet they’re taken for granted,” he said.

I can tell you that I am one person who doesn’t take my ability to see, using glasses, for granted!  They are my constant companion!  And, based on family photos, a few ancestors were also long-time glasses wearers.

An associated one-hour documentary, Sight: The Story of Vision was released September 27, 2016, and shown on PBS and other stations.  If you have Amazon Prime membership you can access the documentary.  I suspect access can be gained via other platforms as well.

It’s always fascinating to learn the history of something we consider somewhat mundane and yet represents such an invaluable invention.

Share how glasses were important to your ancestors.

What other invention(s) that impacts the lives of many do we take for granted?

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