Timeline of Spectacles With Their Development

1284 1286 1300 1319 1352 1475 1535 1629 1714 - 1727 1752 1756 1760 1783 1797 1806 1825 1827 1828 1833 1843 1883 1887 1888 1894
David Teniers (1610-1690), The Monkey Sculptor, c. 1660, © Museo Nacional del Prado P1806
David Teniers (1610-1690), The Monkey Sculptor, c. 1660, © Museo Nacional del Prado P1806
Painting of Viceroy Luis de Velasco y Castilla (1534-1617), from the Bicentenario México, completed in 1607, as seen on Wikipedia
Painting of Viceroy Luis de Velasco y Castilla (1534-1617), from the Bicentenario México, completed in 1607, as seen on Wikipedia
The Church of San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula, High Mixteca Region, Oaxaca, Mexico, 16th  century fresco. Courtesy of Christopher Stowens, photographer
The Church of San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula, High Mixteca Region, Oaxaca, Mexico, 16th century fresco. Courtesy of Christopher Stowens, photographer.
Paul Delvaux (1897-1994), Phases of the Moon, 1939, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art
Paul Delvaux (1897-1994), Phases of the Moon, 1939, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art
Giuseppe De Gobbis (1730-1787), from The Convent Parlor, 1760 and Ridotto, San Diego Museum of Art
Giuseppe De Gobbis (1730-1787), from The Convent Parlor, 1760 and Ridotto, San Diego Museum of Art

(Click for Polish translation of this page by Alica Slaba)

1284 The earliest statutes of the Italian crystal workers is written "Capitulare de Crisstellaris"
Circa 1286 The first eyeglasses are made by a lay person in Pisa, Italy
1300 A term for eyeglasses is used for the first time
1300 Crystal workers were forbidden to use ordinary white glass instead of crystal glass
1319 Regulations are developed to protect the glass making trade, requiring standards for materials and craftsmanship
1352 A painting by Tommaso da Modina shows Cardinal Hugh of Provence wearing rivet spectacles
1475  The first illustration of spectacles in a printed work
1535  The Nuremberg, Germany spectacles maker’s guild is formed
1629 The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers is incorporated in England
Circa 1714 - 1727   London optician Edward Scarlett (Sr.) is credited with developing side arms for spectacles (he is the first to advertise them)
1752 James Ayscough invents the double-hinged temple
1756 Benjamin Martin devises Visual Glasses with a horn annulus to reduce the amount of light entering the eyes
Circa 1760 Benjamin Franklin conceives of the idea of the split lens bifocal
1783 Addison Smith is awarded the first spectacles patent for double spectacles which rotated down
1797 John Richardson invents four-lens spectacles which rotate in from the sides
1797  Dudley Adams patents a device with adjustable drop-down lenses for the variation in interpupillary distance.
1806 John McAllister, Sr. makes round Franklin bifocals for President Thomas Jefferson who designed them
1825 Robert Bate patents the innovation to add spring mechanisms to the lorgnette
1825 George Airy corrects his own astigmatism with a pair of sphero-cylindrical lenses
1827 John Issac Hawkins devises and patents the trifocal in London
1828 The McAllisters begin importing astigmatic (cylindrical) lenses
1833 American Optical has its earliest beginnings when William Beecher makes coin silver spectacles in Southbridge, Ma.
1843 Beecher makes the first elastic steel wire glasses in America
1883 American Optical produces the first ophthalmic lenses in the United States
1887 Swiss ophthalmologist Dr.Adolph Eugen Fick conceives molded corneal contact lenses
1887 German artificial eye maker Frederick Muller fits a thin glass contact scleral shell to a patient who was missing a lower lid
1888 August Morck Jr. patents a bifocal cemented on the outside of the original lens
1894 The first formal school for refracting is organized in Boston - The Klein School of Optics, which later became the New England College of Optometry

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