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

Protectice Eyewear
Anamorphic Art, an Unconventional Way of Seeing
Adam's Patent Spectacles
Lincoln’s Glasses – A Fresh Exam
The Two Greatest Anachronisms
Painted Literacy: Lens and Light

Coming Soon to the Website

Contact Lens Development
Monocles
Masterpiece Spectacles<
Nuremburg Spectacle Industry
Leather Framed Eyeglasses
McAllister Family Dynasty
... and much 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!

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.

Self-portrait of Frigyes Lieder (1780-1859), 1850, Hungarian National Museum, Budapest
Self-portrait of Frigyes Lieder (1780-1859), 1850, Hungarian National Museum, Budapest
Lacquer Box, c. 1890. Mounted by firm of Peter Carl Fabergé (Russian, 1846-1920), box by Factory N. Lukutin (Russian). Lacquer, papier-mâché, gold, diamonds; 1.8 x 14.5 x 5.0 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, The India Early Minshall Collection 1966.464
Lacquer Box, c. 1890. Mounted by firm of Peter Carl Fabergé (Russian, 1846-1920), box by Factory N. Lukutin (Russian). Lacquer, papier-mâché, gold, diamonds; 1.8 x 14.5 x 5.0 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, The India Early Minshall Collection 1966.464
Leather-framed magnifier, original lenses with visible bubbles, circa 1450-1500, likely the world’s earliest magnifying glass, unique, German National Museum, Nuremberg, Germany
Leather-framed magnifier, original lenses with visible bubbles, circa 1450-1500, likely the world’s earliest magnifying glass, unique, German National Museum, Nuremberg, Germany
Carved meerschaum pipe, late 19th century, Aangenendt Collection. Remarkably rare carving
Carved meerschaum pipe, late 19th century, Aangenendt Collection. Remarkably rare carving
Triple Self-Portrait, 1959, Norman Rockwell.   The Saturday Evening Post cover illustration © SEPS.  Use with permission from Curtis Licensing. All Rights Reserved.
Triple Self-Portrait, 1959, Norman Rockwell. The Saturday Evening Post cover illustration © SEPS.  Use with permission from Curtis Licensing. All Rights Reserved.
Early attempt at loop slides, circa 1829-30, maker’s mark Benjamin, only example seen, Northampton Historical Museum, MA
Early attempt at loop slides, circa 1829-30, maker’s mark Benjamin, only example seen, Northampton Historical Museum, MA
"Geo Wilhelm Schmidt in Nürnberg 1729 - Extra feine Cristall Brillen 1729".  letters on the frame are raised:  A so called "Klemmbrille" made of brass in one piece.  Optisches Museum Jena
"Geo Wilhelm Schmidt in Nürnberg 1729 - Extra feine Cristall Brillen 1729". letters on the frame are raised: A so called "Klemmbrille" made of brass in one piece. Optisches Museum Jena
A page from a book on the rules and strategy of chess, author Pedro Damião de Odemira, the fifth edition c. 1524, notice the bespectacled chess player. Private Collection
A page from a book on the rules and strategy of chess, author Pedro Damião de Odemira, the fifth edition c. 1524, notice the bespectacled chess player. Private Collection
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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