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Can You Name The Best Selling Eyewear Style In The World?

On June 6th we can see clearly and look good doing it as we celebrate National Eyewear Day.

  • 1000 AD – The first vision aid was invented around 1000 AD. It was called a reading stone – a small glass sphere that was placed on top of small letters and texts to magnify them for easy reading.
  • 12th Century – Smoky-quartz was used in 12 century China as a form of sunglasses
  • 1284 – Wearable eyeglasses can be traced back to Italy around 1284.
  • 1352 – One of the earliest pictures of someone using glasses is from about 1352. It is a portrait of Cardinal Hugh de Provence reading.
  • 1452 – It wasn’t until the invention of the printing press in 1452 and an increase in literacy that the demand for eyewear grew as well.
  • 1700s – Early Spanish eyeglass manufacturers fixed ribbons to the lenses and looped the ribbons on the wearer’s ears to keep them from constantly slipping down the nose. This led to the eventual creation of modern temple arms that allowed glasses to rest comfortably on the bridge of the nose and on top of the ears without slipping in the 1700s.
  • 18th Century – The first frames were made of wood, copper, leather, and bone. Spanish inventors attached ribbons to glasses simply to keep them from slipping down the nose. The modern style that enables glasses to rest on the bridge of the nose was created in the eighteenth century.
  • 1727 – Edward Scarlett designed the glasses shape that we know today in 1727, but they were not popularized until 2 centuries later.
  • 1914 – Optometrists felt people with impaired vision should be prohibited from driving cars.
  • 1936 – Polaroid sunglasses offering protection from UV rays were invented in 1936. Before then, tinted sunglasses only reduced the glare of sunlight exposed to the eye.
  • 1953 – First appearing in 1953 and worn by countless celebrities, from James Dean to Andy Warhol to Tom Cruise, the Ray Ban Wayfarer is reported to be the best-selling style in history.
  • 1960s – Soft contact lenses are made of soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea.
  • 1981 – Congress expands Medicare to include coverage for certain types of optometry.
  • 1998 – Oklahoma became the first state to approve the use of laser technology for optometrists.
  • 2012 – Researchers determined that people who wear glasses may be smarter.
  • Spectacles have existed for about seven centuries, but early versions were only worn by monks and scholars.
  • Despite its name, glasses aren’t made with glass! At least not the modern ones. Today, lenses are made of high-tech plastics that can be treated to have a filter to protect eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. These lenses are thinner, lighter and more durable than glass because they don’t break easily and are more scratch-resistant.
  • We all know that Benjamin Franklin was a Founding Father of the United States and inventor of the lightning rod, but did you know he also developed the bifocal lenses? Benjamin Franklin was both near and far-sighted and had two pairs of glasses. Tired of switching between glasses all the time, he cut the lenses from his two pairs of spectacles and put half of each lens in a single frame. The top lens aided with seeing distant objects, and the lower lenses at the bottom helped with reading and seeing nearby objects.
  • Singer and songwriter Sir Elton John’s love for wacky and unique glasses are no secret. His personal glasses collection boasts more than 25,000 pairs and growing.
  • Before Tom Cruise and Top Gun, Ray-ban aviator sunglasses were originally designed for pilots in the US military to protect their eyes while flying, hence the name ‘aviator’.
  • Sunglasses were “invented” 2,000 years ago. The Inuit (eskimos) created snow goggles from animal bone, leather and wood. There were small slits that allowed only the tiniest of light through. This shielded the eyes from the blinding glare of sunlight reflected off the snow.
  • Italian eyeglass conglomerate Luxottica owns nearly every popular brand of sunglasses sold worldwide as well as Sunglass Hut.
  • In the United States, someone loses, breaks or sits on a pair of sunglasses every 14 minutes.
  • According to studies, 25 percent of the world population has to wear prescription glasses or corrective lenses.
  • Smoky quartz was used in 12 century China as a form of sunglasses
  • In the United States of America, more women than men wear contact lenses.
  • According to the Vision Council of America, about 85% of the US’s population wears sunglasses.
  • Celebs & their visionary eyewear:
    • Sir Elton has one of the latest glasses collections and can be seen again in the summer 2019 movie “Rocketman.”
    • Karle Kloss looks extra glam in tortoiseshell glasses. Of course, being a supermodel doesn’t hurt.
    • Zooey Deschanel “New Girl” Jess Day’s not-quite-perfectly-square frames have set the prime time standard for cool eyewear.
    • Andy Samberg  “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star (and “SNL” standout) Andy Samberg frequently shows up wearing glasses during guest appearances on TV.
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt This actor already personifies a “smart guy” look, but the glasses push him to a whole new level.
  • Bifocals were invented in the 1760s. These eyeglasses made it possible to see objects both close-up and far away.
  • Monocles were developed in the late 18th century and were worn around the neck. Interestingly, monocles were mainly worn by aristocrats.
  • Pince-nez were invented in the late 19th century. These eyeglasses were held in place by a spring clip between the lenses instead of frames.
  • Sunglasses are a kind of dark eyeglasses that became popular in America around 1929. Eventually, sunglasses became an essential fashion item still in use today.
  • Ray-Ban are also known as “Aviators.” First developed for pilots in the 1930s, Ray-Ban eyeglasses are now especially popular with celebrities.


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