At present, there are many kinds of discount prescription glasses, such as goggles, swimming goggles, sunglasses, fashion mirrors, etc., this article discusses the glasses that correct vision, and does not involve other types of glasses.


Double lens glasses, which are worn on the bridge of the nose to correct vision, were invented by the Italians in 1286, which should be the origin of modern glasses.


In 1289, a member of the Italian Popozzo family wrote: “At my age, without glasses, I cannot read or write.” This shows that in 1289, glasses were not a rarity in Italy.


In an article published on February 23, 1306, the Italian monk Giordano wrote: “Twenty years ago, the art of making glasses was invented to enable those with poor eyesight to see clearly… I know the inventor and have spoken to him.”


The Italian scholar Carlo Dati says that he read in his 1313 book Saint Catherine in Pisa: The Ancient Chronicle of the Dominican Church: “In a monastery in Pisa, a monk named Alejandro de la Spina heard that glasses had been invented, but he did not want to publicize the technology, so he developed his own technology for making glasses, and he was happy to share the joy of his invention with everyone.” Alejandro was a colleague of Giordano’s mentioned above, and it can be inferred that Alejandro, while not the first to invent glasses, was the first to make them public.


So, when you wear glasses with a vision disorder, you should thank Alejandro, an Italian 730 years ago.


Bifocals became popular in Italy in the early 14th century

By checking a large number of historical documents, the author found that double lens glasses became popular in Italy at the beginning of the 14th century, which was mainly due to the progress of Italian glass manufacturing technology.


In 1301, Venice, Italy established the glasses industry association, the world glass manufacturing center Venice has also become the world’s glasses manufacturing center, glasses manufacturing has formed a considerable scale of the industry. According to the 2007 chapter From Glasses to Telescopes: Renaissance Horizons, published in the Journal of the American Philosophical Association, Italy sent a shipment of 24,000 pairs of glasses to the Middle East.


The famous Italian scholar Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374) wore glasses at the age of 60. The Italian writer Franco Sacchetti (1335-1400) often mentions glasses in his book Three Hundred Short Stories.


The earliest known painting with glasses is a 1352 portrait of Cardinal Hugh Provence, painted by the Italian painter Tommaso da Modena, in which the archbishop is copying something in a library while wearing glasses. From the picture, it can be seen that the glasses use metal beams to riveted two lenses, and the elastic metal is clamped on the bridge of the nose, which is also “pince-nez”.


A physical pair of pince-nez discovered in a monastery in Celle, Germany, was made around 1400.


By the 15th century, there were more references to eyeglasses in the literature. The Death of the Virgin, painted by Master of Heiligenklauz, Austria, on the altar of a church in Germany, shows a saint wearing glasses to study the Bible, painted circa 1403.


In a letter dated August 25, 1451, Alduino da Barca of Fira, Italy, wrote to Piero di Cosimo de ‘Medici that he had received four pairs of glasses, three of which were myopia glasses. It can be seen that as late as 1451, Italy had myopia goggles. Myopia lens is a concave lens, and its manufacturing process is more complicated than convex lens.


Pope Leo X (1475-1523) was a nearsighted man who wore concave glasses.


The Spanish painter El Greco painted a portrait of a cardinal wearing glasses circa 1600. The glasses were attached to the ears by a string. The appearance was identical to that of modern glasses, except for the ear hangings.