Half-moon glasses may not be one of the most popular styles today, but they have moved from an important part of glasses history to the stylish, current reading glasses styles that we see today.
One of the most famous half-moon glasses wearers is Albus Dumbledore of the Harry Potter series, but reading glasses have come a long with from their origins with ready-made styles now following the biggest trends in eyewear.
Reading glasses have been around for a long time. You may be surprised to know that the first reading glasses appeared in the middle age – in the year 1260 AD to be exact – in Italy. Meant for the elderly, they soon became popular and everyone who had difficulty reading began to wear them. But the first reading glasses were not like the glasses we are accustomed to today. The ‘user’ (yes, that’s the right word) had to hold them in front of their eyes with their hand.
The first attempt to hold them without the use of a hand was made by the Spaniards who tried to loop them around the ears. But that method was so impractical that it never caught on. It took nearly 500 years for the glasses to evolve into its present shape. In 1730, an English optician named Edward Scarlett devised the first practical sidepieces that held the glasses firmly on the ears. That can be said to be the true beginning of modern reading glasses.
True reading glasses, known as bifocals, were developed by the multi-talented Benjamin Franklin in 1780. The great man was so fed up of having to change to reading glasses every time he had to read that he told his optician to fix half of a distance-seeing lens in the upper half and half of a reading glass in the other hand. This allowed him to look up and down without having to switch glasses.
Further modifications were made to reading glasses in the subsequent centuries until they appeared in the early 20th century. In the course of their evolution, reading glasses have evolved to come in a variety of frame and lens shapes, including the distinctive half moon frame.
Selecting Your Reading Glasses
Ready to move from the half moon glasses style to a stylish pair of reading glasses frames? You have the option of both ready-made options as well as customizing any pair of glasses frames to your reading prescription. Either select from the Reading Glasses category or select any pair of glasses, select ‘Reading’ from the prescription options, and select your ‘Add’. With the customized option, you will have a greater range of prescription options available to you.