Story Behind Inventors and Inventions Eyeglasses

About the origins, history and story behind the scenes of the inventor and invention of eyeglasses.

Extraordinary Stories behind Ordinary Objects That Had to Be Invented by Someone

Invention: Eyeglasses

Inventor: Unknown Italian glass craftsman

Year: 1280-1286

How Invented: "Disks for the eyes" was the name at one time. They were originally made by an unknown Italian glass worker from Tuscany between 1280 and 1286. A Friar Giordano preached about this inventor in a Florence church in 1306, saying he had met him some 20 years earlier, but he didn't mention the man's name. We know that his eyeglasses were suitable only for the farsighted. Concave lenses for the near-sighted did not appear until the 15th century.

The Chinese have often been suggested as the inventors of the eyeglass, but spectacles did not appear in China until the 15th century. Benjamin Franklin, who disliked having to carry two pairs of glasses about with him, invented bifocals in 1785. Even then they cost about $100 a pair.

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