A brief history of eyeglasses (in TED-Ed GIFs)

Today, glasses help millions of people with poor vision be able to see clearly. But how did they come in existence? Below, Andrew Bastawrous and Clare Gilbert give a brief history of glasses.

Almost 2,000 years ago, the Roman philosopher Seneca peered at his book through a glass of water. Suddenly, the text below was transformed; the words magically became clear. But it wasn’t until a millennium later that that same principle would be used to create the earliest glasses.

We’ve come a long way since Seneca’s discovery and the crude glasses of yesteryear. Today, glasses can help millions of people with poor vision due to uncorrected refractive errors by refocusing light so it strikes the retina precisely.

In 1727, a British optician named Edward Scarlett developed the modern style of glasses, which are kept in place with arms which hook over each ear.

Today’s glasses take their inspiration from that design—but they’re also much more precise and personal. Each pair is tailored for an individual, to bring out their unique powers of sight. So if you’re one of the 500 million people with a problem for close or far vision or both, there’s a pair of glasses out there, waiting to reveal a whole new world that’s hiding in plain view.

Watch the full TED-Ed Lesson: How do glasses help us see?:

Animation by Andrew Foerster/TED-Ed

To learn something new every week, sign up here for the TED-Ed Newsletter.

via TED-Ed Blog http://blog.ed.ted.com/2016/05/17/a-brief-history-of-eyeglasses-in-ted-ed-gifs/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s