Half Moon Glasses: A Look Back

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Maybe half moon glasses aren’t the hottest trend this summer but they certainly have made their debut throughout history. Possibly some of the most famous, uh people, to wear half moon glasses is Santa Clause or Albus Dumbledore.  But don’t disregard half moon glasses as only something fictional characters wear; they were some of the first reading glasses made.

Half moon glasses are actually quite practical for reading when you think about it, they are lightweight and don’t get in the way. Since you are looking down most of the time when you are reading a book or magazine, your eyes won’t become depended on glasses when looking away in the distance because they won’t be looking through a lens.

Reading glasses have been around for centuries. They first appeared in Italy in 1260 AD and became popular among the elderly and those with poor vision while reading. They didn’t look like they do now though. A lens was attached to a handle and the users had to hold the glasses up while in use.

The Spanish were the first to invent glasses that were more practical and had a loop around the ears which added convenience but the style didn’t stick. Fast-forward about 500 years and that’s when glasses started to look more like what we wear today. An English optician named Edwards Scarlett created a pair of glasses with side arms that were more snug and held the glasses on the ears.

50 years later in 1780, the multi-talented Benjamin Franklin invented reading glasses which are known today as bifocals. He was so tired of having to switch back and forth between is reading and distance glasses that he had is optician fix a pair of glasses that were made for reading at the bottom and distance at the top.

Other changes and modifications have since been made and more will likely come in the future with technology rapidly advancing. Current modern reading glasses come in a variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and colours but one type of glasses that will always remain a classic are the half moon glasses.


Selecting Your Reading Glasses


For the perfect pair of reading glasses, you can either check out our collection of ready-made styles or customize your own by selecting any one of our designer frames and simply entering your reading glasses prescription.

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