References and Recommendations for Further Study

Roman poet Dichter Vergil (70-19 B.C.), Ludger tom Ring the Elder (1496-1547), Westfalisches Landesmuseum fur Kunst und Kultureschichte Munster, circa 1530.
Roman poet Dichter Vergil (70-19 B.C.), Ludger tom Ring the Elder (1496-1547), Westfalisches Landesmuseum fur Kunst und Kultureschichte Munster, circa 1530.
St. Peter with an Eyeglass, Freidrich Herlin, 1466, Church of James, Die Jakobskirche in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
St. Peter with an Eyeglass, Freidrich Herlin, 1466, Church of James, Die Jakobskirche in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Cornelius Kiel proofreading a Dutch manuscript, the famous Plantin scholar, Father of lexicography for the Netherlands, Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp, Belgium
Cornelius Kiel proofreading a Dutch manuscript, the famous Plantin scholar, Father of lexicography for the Netherlands, Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp, Belgium
St. Jerome in his study, Joos van Cleve, 16th century
St. Jerome in his study, Joos van Cleve, 16th century
This educational website is the result of the compilation of a great deal of wonderful information obtained from books, articles, newsletters, catalogs, museums and personal conversations and also correspondence with some well-versed experts from around the globe. It is adapted from many of the notable contributions by very knowledgeable authors relating to the most significant advance in technology and vision…… spectacles.
  We are especially indebted to the noted authors marked with a for granting us permission to reprint illustrations from their wonderful, colorful books.  

  1. Acerenza, Franca: GLI Occhiale/Spectacles , Milano 1988, 2nd ed. 1994 (Bi-lingual)

  2. Bernard Becker Collection in Ophthalmology, an Annotated Catalog. Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

  3. Brandt, Laura, Honor’s thesis at William and Mary, Boys Don't Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses: Gender, Vision Aids, and Persona in the Early American Republic

  4. Bruneni, Joseph, Industry Biographies- John McAllister 1753-1830 http://www.bruneni.com/SCCOWeb/McAllister.html

  5. Bryden, DJ, Simms, DL. “Archimedes and the Opticians of London” Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society no.35 (1992) 11-14

  6. Bryden, DJ, Simms, DL. “Spectacles improved to perfection and approved of by the Royal Society”. Annals of Science 1993; 50: 1-32

  7. Calvert, H.R.. Scientific Trade Cards in the Science Museum Collection. London: H.M.S.O., 1971

  8. Chevalier, Charles, Manuel des Myopes et des Presbytes, contenant des Recherches Historiques sur l´Origine des Lunettes ou Besicles........et un chapitre spécialement consacré aux Lorgnettes de Spectacle. etc... Paris 1841

  9. Corson, Richard. Fashions in Eyeglasses. London: Peter Owen Ltd., 1967

  10. Crestin-Billet, Frederique, Collectible Eyeglasses, Editions Flammarion, 2004

  11. Del Vecchio, Marisa, Bel Vedere The Spectacles of the Luxottica Museum, Treviso, Italy

  12. Del Vecchio, Marisa, Lunga Vista, the Telescopes of the Luxottica Museum, Treviso, Italy

  13. Dreyfus, John. "The Invention of Spectacles and the Advent of Printing." The Library, Sixth Series, v. 10, no. 2, June 1988., pp. 93-106.

  14. Davidson, Derek & MacGregor, Ronald. Spectacles, Lorgnettes, and Monocles. Princes Risborough, England: Shire, 2002

  15. De Lotto, Enrico, From Nero’s Emerald to the Cadore Glasses, Belluno, 1956

  16. Drewry, Jr.,M.D., Richard, What Man Devised That He Might See, 1994 http://www.teagleoptometry.com/history.htm 

  17. Ernst Abbe Foundation, Treasury of Optics: The Collections of the Optisches Museum Jena ISBN 978-3-9811120-5-4 National as well as international authors contributed a total of 16 articles pertaining to the development of optical devices and the various unique exhibition pieces. Numerous full page color illustrations complement the individual essays. Soon to become a classic this book highlights and features the world’s greatest museum collection of optical instruments, started by Carl Zeiss, Ernst Abbe and their associates in the early 20th century. This included spectacles, microscopes, telescopes, opera glasses and binoculars, optical instruments, and sa graphics collection (15th – 20th century) that is unrivaled. All this is truly remarkable.
  18. Faber, Fritz Julius (assisted by Udo Timm), Durchblicke, Eine Kulturgeschichte mit Brillen, Heidelberg, 1999

  19. Florange, Ch., Histoire des Lunettes in: Pro Medico, Paris & Brussels 1936, 13: 123-127

  20. Frank, Arthur, The Seeing Eye. Privately published, Jersey Channel Islands, 1993

  21. Greef, R., Hallauer, O., Lundsgaard, K., von Pflugk, A., et al. Katalog Einer Bildersausterllung zur Geschichte der Brille. (International Congress of Ophthalmology, 13th, Amsterdam 1929) Amsterdam: A.E.d’Oliveira, 1929

  22. Groffman, Sidney, O.D., “The Eyes of Liberty”, Journal of the American Optometric Association, v. 47, no. 8, August 1976, pp. 1019-1040.

  23. Hamblin, Dora. "What a Spectacle! Eyeglasses and How They Evolved." Smithsonian Magazine, v. 13, no. 12, March 1983, pp.100-102+.

  24. Heitz, Robert, THE HISTORY OF CONTACT LENSES (3 vols.) Wayenborgh, Ostende 2003ff

  25. Heymann, Madame Alfred, Lunettes et Lorgnettes de Jadis, J. Leroy, Paris 1911

  26. Il contenitore prezioso - storia degli astucci per occhiali (The Precious Container - Story of the Cases for Glasses), Marsilio Editori, Venezia, (The first book I have ever seen devoted just to eyeglass cases)

  27. Ilardi, Vincent. "Eyeglasses and Concave Lenses in Fifteenth-Century Florence and Milan: New Documents." Renaissance Quarterly, v. 29, no. 3, Autumn 1976, pp. 341-360.

  28. Ilardi, Vincent. "Renaissance Florence: The Optical Capital of the World." Journal of European Economic History, v. 22, no. 3, 1993, pp. 507-41.

  29. Ilardi, Vincent. "Renaissance Vision from Spectacles to Telescopes", American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 2007. The most detailed and footnoted research book ever written on this subject. I personally learned something new on almost every single page. I predict this will soon become a “classic” and it should become part of the library of anyone studying the optical lens during this time period. ISBN 978-0-87169-259-7 (This book can be accessed online at Google Books.)

  30. Kelly, Chris. "McAllister 5 Generations in Optometrics." Optical Journal and Review of Optometry, v. 112, no. 13, July 1975, pp. 10-17.

  31. Jaeger, Wolfgang, AUGENVOTIVE, Verlag Brausdruck, Heidelberg 1974 (a beautiful book about ex-votos of the eye)

  32. Kortland, Kees. "Het Oog Wil Ook Wat". 1990, Kees Kortland.

  33. Kuisle, Anita: Brillen, Gläser, Fassungen, Herstellung,  Deutsches Museum, Munich 1985

  34. La Mattina, Professor Rosolino, Gli Occhiale nella Pittura dal XIV al XX secolo- Dal Veneto alla Sicilia l’iconografia racconta l’evoluzione dell’oggetto visivo , 2006 (Ed. Lussografica-Caltanissetta). A colorful artistic book, written in Italian, which has over 125 wonderful illustrations.

  35. Letocha, Charles E., M.D. "The Origin of Spectacles." Survey of Ophthalmology, v. 31, 1986, pp. 185-188.

  36. Letocha, Charles E., M.D. "The Invention and Early Manufacture of Bifocals." Survey of Ophthalmology, v. 35, 1990, pp. 226-235.

  37. Levene, John R.. Clinical Refraction and Visual Science. Boston: Butterworths, 1977

  38. Marly, Pierre. Spectacles & Spyglasses. Paris: Editoins Hoebeke, 1988

  39. Mazza, Samuele: Spectacles, Milano 1995, English San Francisco 1996 (by Chronicle Books)

  40. McBrayer, Alan. "Spectacles, 1760-1783." The Brigade Dispatch, v. 33, no. 1, 2003, pp. 2-1.

  41. McBrayer, Alan. United States Spectacle and Eye-glass Patents 1836-1873. Privately published

  42. MacGregor, Ronald J.S., Restoring Ophthalmic Antiques, 1990 and 2008. It is ISBN 978-0-9519290-1-8

  43. Il Museo Dell’Occhiale Pieve di Cadore, Fabbri Editore, 1990, Milan (an absolutely fabulous catalogue of the historic vision related objects at this museum)

  44. Newsletters of the Ophthalmic Antiques International Collectors Club, 1982 – Present

  45. Oppenheimer, H., Theorie und Praxis der Augengläser , Berlin 1904

  46. Orr, Hugh. Illustrated History of Early Antique Spectacles. Beckenham, Kent, England: Hugh Orr, 1985

  47. Oydegaard, Floyd, How to be a Perfect Spectacle, Shadows of the Past, 1984 www.sptddog.com/sotp/spec.html.

  48. Poulet, W. Atlas on The History of Spectacles. Bonn, Germany: Wayenborgh, 1978. 3 v., Certainly the #1 reference book on the subject and still a comprehensive “classic” after nearly 30 years.

  49. Ramstein, Rolf and Till, Die Optikerfamilie Ramstein und ihre Sammlung antiker Brillen und optischer Instrument, Verlag Editions Publisher Till Ramstein, 2003 (This highlights the illustrious long history of the Ramstein family and also their marvelous optical collection. This is a limited edition of only 300 copies worldwide.)

  50. Rasmussen, Otto. Chinese Eyesight and Spectacles. Tonbridge, England: Tonbridge Free Press, 1946

  51. Redfearn, Jerome. "American Silver & Gold Spectacles of the Nineteenth Century." Silver Magazine Nov.-Dec. 1985, 8-12.

  52. Reetz, Hans : Bildniss und Brille, Oberkochen 1957

  53. Ronchi, Vasco: Perché non si ritrova l’inventore degli Occhiale?, Rivista di oftalmologia, v. 1, 1946, p. 140-144

  54. Rosen, Edward. "The Invention of Eyeglasses." Journal of the History of Medicine, v. 11, 1956, pp. 13-46, and pp. 183-218.

  55. Rosenthal, J. William, M.D. Spectacles and Other Vision Aids: A History and Guide to Collecting, San Francisco: Norman Pub., 1996

  56. Rossi, Frank: Brillen-Vom Leseglas zum modischen Accessoire, Leipzig 1989 (was translated into English by F.C. Blodi)

  57. Schiffer, Nancy. Eyeglass Retrospective: Where Fashion Meets Science. Atgen, Pa.: Schiffer Publishing, 2000

  58. Schmitz, E.-H. Handbuch zur Geschichte der Optik, Suppl. III, DIE BRILLE (3 vols.) Ostend, Wayenborgh 1995.

  59. Schnell, Ivar: Glasögonens Historia, Stockholm 1943

  60. Shirayama, Sekiya. Social History of Spectacles. Tokyo, 1990

  61. Spectacles & Sunglasses, Amsterdam, Pepin Press BV, 2005

  62. Temple, Robert, The Crystal Sun Rediscovering a Lost Technology of the Ancient World, Century, London, 2000 ISBN 0 7126 7888 3

  63. von Rohr, Moritz: Das Auge und die Brille, Leipzig 1912

  64. von Rohr, Moritz: Die Brille als Optisches Instrument, Leipzig 1911

  65. von Rohr, Moritz, Abhandlungen zur Geschichte des Stereoskops, Engelmann Leipzig 1908

  66. von Rohr, Moritz, “The Thomas Young Oration: Contributions to the History of the Spectacles Trade from the Earliest Times to Thomas Young’s Appearance.”,  Transactions of the Optical Society, vol. XXV, 1923-24 No.2, .

  67. Walsh, Glyn, Spectacles Through the Ages and Period Inaccuracies, December 14, 2001, http://www.optometry.co.uk/articles/20011214/walsh20011214.pdf

  68. Willach, Rolf, The Long Route to the Invention of the Telescope, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 2008, This book is definitely a milestone in the study of the optical lens during the pre-history of the telescope. ISBN: 978-1606189856

  69. Winkler, Wolf, Editor. A Spectacle of Spectacles, Exhibition Catalogue, Edition Leipzig: Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung , Jena, 1988.

  70. York, Alan, “Eyeglasses: Fads and Fashions in Spectacles”, The Encyclopedia of Collectibles, 1978, Time Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia

  71. Zeiss: Zur Geschichte der Brille , Oberkochen 1958


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