Eyecare Business

OCT 2016

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EB 66 E y e c a r e B u s i n e s s . c o m October 2016 A T 3 0 T H R O U G H T H E Y E A R S Time flies. And, om Nero's emerald "sun lenses" to baubles on today's ames, reflecting on eyewear's history puts it all into perspective. Join us for a walk through time, with fun and fabulous factoids om the past 2,200 years 50 A.D. Roman emperor Nero's mother kills her husband and his uncle to get her 16-year-old onto the throne. Later Nero kills her. As ruler, he uses emeralds to shield his eyes from the sun at gladiator games. 50 A.D.: CRUEL JEWEL A look back at the intriguing (and infamous) history of the spectacle, from 50 A.D. to 2016 Tempus Fugit & T R E N D S , T O O T R E N D S , T O O g B Y STEPHANIE K. DE LONG Way Back When… From precious stone and round rocks to walrus ivory and Ben's bifocals, the world pre-1800 shows how resourceful Homo sapiens really are. Shaped from crystal, the first "lenses" were placed on the page to magnify the words. 800: ROCK ON Early Inuits carve the first sunglasses —mostly from walrus ivory—with slits to see through. 1200: WHERE'S WALRUS? Florence, Italy, the center of eyewear, tells seniors (over 30!) to replace their glasses every five years. 1400: FREQUENT REPLACEMENT Sick of switching glasses, Ben Franklin develops the bifocal...soon to be part of his "signature" look. 1784: BIG BEN Nero uses emeralds as sun lenses An Inuit man in the first known sunglass style Ben Franklin painting: 1789 oil on canvas by Charles Wilson Peale. (courtesy Historical Society of Pennsylvania) 1800s: E is for Electricity From the telegraph to the first phone call and functional lightbulb, electricity—and the Industrial Revolution— changes the world. William Beecher starts selling spectacles in his Southbridge, MA, jewelry shop. 60 years and many mergers later, it incorporates as American Optical. 1833: BORN IN THE USA 1850: EYE HEAR YOU Lorgnettes and monocles become widely available. Lorgnettes are so popular they're added to everything from mechanical pencils to ear trumpets. Optician John Bausch picks up a piece of hard rubber from the road and experi- ments with heating it on his stove. Soon, he is producing rubber frames—and 29 years later, optical glass. His partner? Harry Lomb. 1860: BOIL AND BUBBLE Sterling silver lorgnette (courtesy The AOA Foundation) Bausch and Lomb as ausch Bausch and Lomb as and Lomb as young men 1800s Workers in the AO factory B&L, AO factory, and Inuit AO B&L, AO factory, and Inuit factory, and Inuit photos courtesy of Optical os photos courtesy of Optical courtesy of Optical Heritage Museum

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