David Fleishman, a retired ophthalmologist, has a great site with a tour of old eye glasses – “We generally take for granted one of the world’s most important inventions – spectacles. Imagine what life would be like not being able to see images clearly or sharply. According to a January 11, 1999 feature article in Newsweek Magazine , reading glasses are one of the most important inventions of the past 2000 years. They developed because of the work of artisans, like glassmakers, jewelers and clockmakers, along with some of the most brilliant scientific minds over the centuries. According to Dr. J. William Rosenthal, “Philosophers, monks, mathematicians, physicists, microscopists, astronomers, and chemists all played vital roles in developing this instrument.” – [via] Link.