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The primitive glasses have their roots traced as far back as 12th-century China. However, the main concept behind the use of convex lens is for magnifying things for the user dates back much further. Alhazen published the Book of Optics in 1021. This only shows that the human eyes have always deteriorated, and mankind has been trying to fix it through the centuries.
The first ever pair of recognizable glasses showed up in Italy during 1200s. During the Middle Ages from 1400 to 1600, the primitive spectacles were available in every town. During that time, the spectacles that were held in front of the user’s eyes through a handle, called lorgnette, were popular and common among the privileged members of the society. The handle of the lorgnette is more embellished when someone had more money.
The first ever pair of sunglasses came from China wherein they used the smoky quartz panels for the lenses.
Glasses Through the Years
It was during the turn of the century when two key events took place that catapulted the use of glasses into mainstream style:
- President Theodore Roosevelt let his photographed be taken while wearing his glasses.
- The glasses started featuring “arms” that let them sit on the face in an easy and comfortable way.
From them on, eyewear fashion changed through the years just like clothing. Here is a quick overview of the history of men glasses for the past years:
Men’s eyewear was youthful, hip, and cool. The two icons of American youth culture during mid-20th century, James Dean and Buddy Holly, were usually photographed wearing their glasses. In particular, the look of Buddy Holly is known for his nerdy-cool and heavy-framed glasses.
The brightly colored glasses complimented the bright clothes of the decade, and some silhouettes also became more popular. You can easily picture John Lennon with his grannies or small circular glasses as well as Mick Jagger rocking his pair of aviators.
This era saw more androgynous clothing styles with the glasses following suit. The styles for men and women had very little variation, with boldness ruling the day.