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03-30-2005 Eyewear: seven centuries of history online

David A. Fleishman, M.D., retired ophthalmologist from Massachusetts, has built Antique Spectacles, an educational website devoted to one of the most important inventions of all time: spectacles.

Although it has been relatively unknown to the general public, the evolution and development of spectacles over the past seven centuries qualifies as a long, quite fascinating journey through history, whose impact deserves to be better recognized and more widely appreciated.

Website has been built with the help of over two hundred eighty experts in the field of vision aids from all over Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States and is filled with interesting text along with wonderful and abundant imagery (over 1,000 images already).

The core of Antique Spectacles is Eyeglasses through the Ages, a history paper with over 60 colorful images attached, which adds "life" to this amazing story. There is a list of all the World’s Public Collections (included Museo dell’Occhiale di Pieve di Cadore) where groups of spectacles can be seen. There is a Timeline of Development, a Guide to Assist in Identification, a Glossary, Educational Games, Key Translations, and many other relevant pages.

The defined goals of the website are to educate interested visitors to the website and to increase public awareness and thereby nurture a deeper appreciation in general. Fleishman dedicated the website to an Honor Roll of Distinguished Persons, twenty-two individuals from eleven countries who were the true pioneers of spectacles research.

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