Major 21st Century Optical Discoveries
Resulting from this International Research

Abe Lincoln’s Burt & Willard glasses, Library of Congress Abraham Lincoln’s smaller folding spectacles turn out to be a little recognized and underappreciated national treasure. Indeed, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC holds one of the rarest and therefore greatest pairs of eyeglasses ever created.
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Baby Jesus holds leather-framed eyeglasses, 17th century painting, unique A unique early 17th century painting where Baby Jesus holds eyeglasses, thought to have been destroyed during the First World War is the greatest anachronism in existence. Fortunately it survived and has now surfaced in a private collection.
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16th – 18th century eyeboxes, Madame Heymann Optical Collection, Château d'Écouen Madame Alfred Heymann’s optical collection was absolutely the greatest ever, yet it disappeared upon her death in 1925. Hiding in storage at nine different prominent museums around Paris, the major portions of it have now been located.
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Sidearms to eyeglasses appear for the very first time, Edward Scarlett trade card, early 18th century, Bodleian Library The year 1714 is the new possible date for the development of side arms to eyeglasses. A third trade card of Edward Scarlett has been discovered at the Bodleian Library in Oxford and this new one pushes the previous date back from 1727.
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Newest Significant Additions to the Website

Protectice Eyewear
Anamorphic Art, an Unconventional Way of Seeing
Adam's Patent Spectacles
Lincoln’s Glasses – A Fresh Exam
The Two Greatest Anachronisms
Painted Literacy: Lens and Light

Coming Soon to the Website

Contact Lens Development
Monocles
Masterpiece Spectacles<
Nuremburg Spectacle Industry
Leather Framed Eyeglasses
McAllister Family Dynasty
... and much more

Images With a Deeper Story

Abraham Lincoln's Eyeglasses
Two Greatest Anachronisms
Madame Heymann Collection
Edward Scarlett Trade Card
Well of Moses
Gnalic Shipwreck 1583
Varaždin Blacksmith Guild's Box

Newest additions to the website

What's Coming Soon to the Website

Neat Discoveries
(7 so far)

Vision Aids are amazing! Their history is truly fascinating! As works of art, they have a beauty all their own!
Certainly one of the most significant inventions of all time, they are symbols of man's incredible ingenuity and craftsmanship!
Embrace the profound impact that spectacles alone have had on the human experience over the past 730 years.
Yet they are taken for granted by nearly everyone worldwide!

Starting with the Introduction and Goals, wander through this non-commercial, not for profit, website. You may find it enlightening and informative to learn about these wonderful items many of us use daily. Look at the Table of Contents. This website is the result of the collaboration of International educators and is for everyone’s interest and enjoyment. It is the place where we celebrate vision aids, (and the optical lens), especially spectacles. The Real Numbers of this website keep growing because Interesting Topics and Slideshows are added regularly. All this would not have been possible without the wonderful support of many noteworthy Contributing Individuals and Participating Institutions. To improve navigation of the website, we have added Quick Links for people with special interests.

Benjamin Franklin, painted by Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), Oil on canvas, 1789,
Benjamin Franklin, painted by Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), Oil on canvas, 1789, Courtesy The Philadelphia History Museum
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Spectacles, found in an archeological dig in a suburb of Philadelphia, mid-17th century, perhaps Spanish, probably horn, no lenses, URS Corporation
Spectacles, found in an archeological dig in a suburb of Philadelphia, mid-17th century, perhaps Spanish, probably horn, no lenses, URS Corporation
Carved ivory spectacles case, 16th-17th century, very rare, private collection
Carved ivory spectacles case, 16th-17th century, very rare, private collection
Sitting Bull, half-length portrait, seated, facing front, holding calumet, photograph by Orlando Scott Goff (1843-1917), circa 1881, LC-USZ62-12276, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
Sitting Bull, half-length portrait, seated, facing front, holding calumet, photograph by Orlando Scott Goff (1843-1917), circa 1881, LC-USZ62-12276, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
Spectacles selling set with 16 pairs of eyeglasses frames, complete, German, circa 1830, earliest known example, German National Museum, Nuremberg, Germany
Spectacles selling set with 16 pairs of eyeglasses frames, complete, German, circa 1830, earliest known example, German National Museum, Nuremberg, Germany
Wooden eyeglasses case, perhaps a souvenir piece related to some European monastery garden started in 1245, unknown origin, mid-19th century. Unusual and quite interesting.
Wooden eyeglasses case, perhaps a souvenir piece related to some European monastery garden started in 1245, unknown origin, mid-19th century. Unusual and quite interesting. Hover over the image ont he left to see te front of the case and hover right to see the back of the case.
British Farthing token of spectacle maker John Heaward, St Katherine’s, London, circa 1660.  Notice the slit bridge nose spectacles
British Farthing token of spectacle maker John Heaward, St Katherine’s, London, circa 1660. Notice the slit bridge nose spectacles
Camouflage goggles with ventilated screen sides, leather mounting, circa 1943, Optical Heritage Museum, Southbridge, MA
Camouflage goggles with ventilated screen sides, leather mounting, circa 1943, Optical Heritage Museum, Southbridge, MA
Move your mouse over any of the images in this website for a larger view.
The images on this page are replaced several times a year. Previously used images are available in three separate slide shows.

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