Stepping Back in Time: The Fascinating History of Eyeglasses in the 1800s

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Eyeglasses have come a long way since their invention in the 13th century, but it was in the 1800s that they truly became an accessible and practical addition to personal and professional life. As we step back in time, we can see just how fascinating eyeglasses in the 1800s were, and how optometrists like Dr. Dolan from 2020 Vision in Rochester Hills MI continue to honor that heritage today.

Before the 1800s, eyeglasses were a luxury item and were only accessible to the upper class. They were often expensive, uncomfortable and required a lot of maintenance. However, as optometry grew in popularity, eyeglasses became more accessible to the masses. With the advent of cheaper manufacturing techniques and an improved understanding of lenses, eyeglasses quickly became more practical and affordable.

As eyewear progressed throughout the century, so did fashion trends. The pince-nez, made popular in the 1840s, was a minimalistic and elegant design that fit snugly onto the nose. The lorgnette, an elegant handheld variation resembling a magnifying glass, was also popular for those who wanted to add a touch of sophistication to their appearance. Towards the end of the century, round frames and tortoise shell designs were all the rage.

However, with the convenience of eyewear also came societal stigmas. Some saw eyeglasses as a sign of aging or ill health, while others saw them as a nuisance. Despite these attitudes, many people realized that eyeglasses allowed them to read, study, and work with more comfort and ease.

Today, optometrists like Dr. Dolan continue the tradition of providing high-quality eyewear that meets the wide array of optical needs of individuals. With advancements in technology, glasses have become not only more practical, but they also offer a lot more options for customers to select from. They can be customized to fit people’s faces better than ever, have special lenses to help reduce blue light exposure or help with reading, and come in countless designs.

Eyeglasses from the 1800s may seem primitive compared to today’s models, but they were a critical step forward for those who relied on them. They allowed people to improve their daily lives in countless ways, societal attitudes aside. Today, we continue to see progress in eyewear, and it’s exciting to see what the next century will bring.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Dolan at 2020 Vision in Rochester Hills MI, call 248-375-0040 today!

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