Celebrated on June 6th
The first vision aid was invented around 1000 AD. It was called a reading stone – a small glass sphere that was placed on top of small letters and texts to magnify them for easy reading. Wearable eyeglasses can be traced back to Italy around 1284. The first eyeglasses were simply glass lenses mounted on heavy frames that were held up manually or worn on the nose. These frames were made of natural materials like wood, copper, leather and bone.
For centuries after eyeglass was created, most people utilized the glass by just sticking it up to their eye or what they were reading. However, in the 1700s the Spanish grew tired of holding up their eyewear. So they manufactured fixed ribbons onto the lenses to keep them from slipping off. The ribbon would sit on the bridge of the nose, and wrap around the ears. This eventually lead to the modern glasses look we know and love.
According to Earth 911, more than 4 million pairs of standard reading glasses are thrown away every year in North America. Earth 911 also states that more than 1 billion people in the world require eyeglasses, but cannot afford or find them.