Major 21st Century Optical Discoveries
Resulting from this International Research

Abe Lincoln’s Burt & Willard glasses, Library of Congress Abraham Lincoln’s smaller folding spectacles turn out to be a little recognized and underappreciated national treasure. Indeed, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC holds one of the rarest and therefore greatest pairs of eyeglasses ever created.
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Baby Jesus holds leather-framed eyeglasses, 17th century painting, unique A unique early 17th century painting where Baby Jesus holds eyeglasses, thought to have been destroyed during the First World War is the greatest anachronism in existence. Fortunately it survived and has now surfaced in a private collection.
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16th – 18th century eyeboxes, Madame Heymann Optical Collection, Château d'Écouen Madame Alfred Heymann’s optical collection was absolutely the greatest ever, yet it disappeared upon her death in 1925. Hiding in storage at nine different prominent museums around Paris, the major portions of it have now been located.
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Sidearms to eyeglasses appear for the very first time, Edward Scarlett trade card, early 18th century, Bodleian Library The year 1714 is the new possible date for the development of side arms to eyeglasses. A third trade card of Edward Scarlett has been discovered at the Bodleian Library in Oxford and this new one pushes the previous date back from 1727.
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Newest Significant Additions to the Website

"SIGHT: The Story of Vision" Project
History of Contact Lenses
Protective Eyewear
Anamorphic Art
Adam's Patent Spectacles
Lincoln’s Glasses – A Fresh Exam
The Two Greatest Anachronisms

Coming Soon to the Website

Monocles & Single Vision Lenses
Masterpiece Spectacles
Nuremburg Spectacle Industry
Leather Framed Eyeglasses
McAllister Family Dynasty
... and more

Images With a Deeper Story

Abraham Lincoln's Eyeglasses
Two Greatest Anachronisms
Madame Heymann Collection
Edward Scarlett Trade Card
Well of Moses
Gnalic Shipwreck 1583
Varaždin Blacksmith Guild's Box

Newest additions to the website

What's Coming Soon to the Website

Neat Discoveries
(7 so far)

Vision Aids are amazing! Their history is truly fascinating! As works of art, they have a beauty all their own!
Certainly one of the most significant inventions of all time, they are symbols of man's incredible ingenuity and craftsmanship!
Embrace the profound impact that spectacles alone have had on the human experience over the past 730 years.
Yet they are taken for granted by nearly everyone worldwide!

Sight: The Story of Vision” is a huge PTV documentary project whose major story threads are Science, Medicine, Technology, and Humanity. The primary goal of the documentary SIGHT, with narrator Sir Elton John, and associated planetarium film SEEING, with narrator Neil deGrasse Tyson, is to educate people worldwide that vision is every human’s most treasured sense. SIGHT, the very first Color Blind Assisted (CA) film in history, has already won three Telly Awards and has begun the journey to be broadcast by PBS affiliates across the US. Later in 2017, it is expected to go to international broadcasters. There are four components including a 240 page companion eBook which dives deeper into all the subject matter and also a Second Screen app with definitions for all the terminology along with additional focused interviews. This the most comprehensive program on human vision ever created to inform the general public. Check out www.storyofsight.com

Starting with the Introduction and Goals, wander through this non-commercial, not for profit, website. You may find it enlightening and informative to learn about these wonderful items many of us use daily. Look at the Table of Contents. This website is the result of the collaboration of International educators and is for everyone’s interest and enjoyment. It is the place where we celebrate vision aids, (and the optical lens), especially spectacles. The Real Numbers of this website keep growing because Interesting Topics and Slideshows are added regularly. All this would not have been possible without the wonderful support of many noteworthy Contributing Individuals and Participating Institutions. To improve navigation of the website, we have added Quick Links for people with special interests.

Cardinal Nicholas of Rouen, portion of a fresco by Tommaso da Modena, 1352, Chapter Hall of Dominican Monastery, San Nicolo, Treviso, Italy
Cardinal Nicholas of Rouen, portion of a fresco by Tommaso da Modena, 1352, Chapter Hall of Dominican Monastery, San Nicolo, Treviso, Italy.
Temple spectacles, blond horn sunglasses, c. 1770, the finials bear the aristocratic coat of arms of the patrician Mocenigo Family, representing the Doges of the Venetian Republic. Metal case has the shape of a mollusk’s shell embellished with the coat of arms, featured in the 2014 catalogue “Occhiali ea Doge”
Temple spectacles, blond horn sunglasses, c. 1770, the finials bear the aristocratic coat of arms of the patrician Mocenigo Family, representing the Doges of the Venetian Republic. Metal case has the shape of a mollusk’s shell embellished with the coat of arms, featured in the 2014 catalogue “Occhiali ea Doge”
High plus lenses inside of metal tubes, wooden case, 17th century, very unusual
High plus lenses inside of metal tubes, wooden case, 17th century, very unusual
Portrait of Robert Todd Lincoln, Emil Fuchs, President Ekwanok Country Club (1904-1926), courtesy of Hildene, Lincoln Family Home, Manchester, Vermont
Portrait of Robert Todd Lincoln, Emil Fuchs, President Ekwanok Country Club (1904-1926), courtesy of Hildene, Lincoln Family Home, Manchester, Vermont
Spectacles Peddler, Johann GeorgeTrautmann, German, c. 1760, Vascellari Collection
Spectacles Peddler, Johann GeorgeTrautmann, German, c. 1760, Vascellari Collection
Slit bridge horn frame with dark tinted lenses, carved wooden case, late 17th century
Slit bridge horn frame with dark tinted lenses, carved wooden case, late 17th century
Comparable to the Daniel Thaxter Patent (American) of June 1839, perhaps Dutch, notice the heart-shaped finials
Comparable to the Daniel Thaxter Patent (American) of June 1839, perhaps Dutch, notice the heart-shaped finials
The Vagineri’s Sign (antique name for sheath/container makers guild, established in 1314), restored in 1733, Museo Correr, Venice.
The Vagineri’s Sign (antique name for sheath/container makers guild, established in 1314), restored in 1733, Museo Correr, Venice.
Move your mouse over any of the images in this website for a larger view.
The images on this page are replaced several times a year. Previously used images are available in three separate slide shows.

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