First on First: Eyeglasses

main-qimg-613c6826b129d494ec3052e50146d827Prior to the thirteenth century, glasses were used by people around the world as either decorative wear or for superstitious purposes. However, at some point between 1268 and 1289, practical eyeglasses were invented. No one knows for sure who invented the first pair of reading glasses, but historians believe it was a glass blower in Venice, Italy. Italian monks and scholars first began wearing the spectacles. In the late 13th century, Italians Salvino D’Armate and Allesandro della Spina helped make eyeglasses mainstream by discussing the benefits of wearing them. With the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, literacy rates began to grow and eyeglasses were being mass-produced.

Sources: American Academy of Ophthalmology, The College of Optometrists

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