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

History of Contact Lenses
Protectice Eyewear
Anamorphic Art
Adam's Patent Spectacles
Lincoln’s Glasses – A Fresh Exam
The Two Greatest Anachronisms
Painted Literacy: Lens and Light

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 comprehensive 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 and inform the general public worldwide that vision is every human’s most treasured sense. SIGHT, the very first Color Blind Assisted (CA) film in history, has begun the journey to be broadcast by PBS affiliates across the US and then is expected to go to international broadcasters in 2017. Check out www.storyofsight.com or www.storyofvision.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.

Chronik - St. Georgen 63, (Schwarzwald, Germany); Handwriting on paper by Ulrich von Richental, Konstanz, c. 1470. urn:nbn:de:bsz:31-37921. Digital Collection online of the Badische Landesbibliothek Karlsruhe.
Chronik - St. Georgen 63, (Schwarzwald, Germany); Handwriting on paper by Ulrich von Richental, Konstanz, c. 1470. urn:nbn:de:bsz:31-37921. Digital Collection online of the Badische Landesbibliothek Karlsruhe.
Very rare mid-19th century silver European spectacles, similar to the Christopher Smith 1839 US patent. The middle frame space is empty so three lens possibilities exist.
Very rare mid-19th century silver European spectacles, similar to the Christopher Smith 1839 US patent. The middle frame space is empty so three lens possibilities exist.
Silver temple spectacles, notice the round solid-filled finial endings, (appeared soon after the Scarlett spiral sides variety), Vascellari Collection
Silver temple spectacles, notice the round solid-filled finial endings, (appeared soon after the Scarlett spiral sides variety), Vascellari Collection
Eyeglasses”, the extraordinary work of Parisian artist Franjo Aatoth
Eyeglasses”, the extraordinary work of Parisian artist Franjo Aatoth
Dancers with Glass boxes, (c) Lee Cheong Su, Hanbit Museum of Glasses, Seoul Korea, notice the two beautiful eyeglasses cases hanging from their waist.
Dancers with Glass boxes, (c) Lee Cheong Su, Hanbit Museum of Glasses, Seoul Korea, notice the two beautiful eyeglasses cases hanging from their waist.
Binocular Achromatic Spectacles, 1862 Richard Beck patent; made for reading this created base-in prisms
Binocular Achromatic Spectacles, 1862 Richard Beck patent; made for reading this created base-in prisms
Protective spectacles made of iron, used by prisoners when breaking stone, 19th century
Protective spectacles made of iron, used by prisoners when breaking stone, 19th century
Chinese folding rimless nose spectacles with forehead support and ear loops, seen in an early 20th century publication
Chinese folding rimless nose spectacles with forehead support and ear loops, seen in an early 20th century publication
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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