Phone: 201-836-7209, or 201-833-8805
 Business hours 9:00AM - 5:00PM EST only.
Email gets quickest response: sales@4readers.com

Over 1,000,000 Reading Glasses Sold since 1999

The History of Optics and Origins of Optometric Science

There is evidence that lenses for decoration existed a few thousand years BC.The ancient Greek author Aristophanes wrote in 434 BC about a burning glass.The Greek mathematician Euclid in about 280 BC wrote about light traveling in straight lines and the equality of the angles of incidence and reflection. He also talked about the concept of the visual cone which is the equivalent of our concept of visual angle today. Claudius Ptolemy in about 150 AD measured angles of incidence and reflection from air to water but did not discover the exact mathematical relation.Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) - In Kepler's 1611 book A Dioptrics, there are descriptions of the mathematics of lenses, prisms, and mirrors. Kepler presented many of the concepts taught today in geometric optics. Sir Isaac Newton showed how white light could be split into component colors and then recombined into white light. Snell discovered the law of refraction in 1621. Snell died at 35 years of age, and his contribution was not widely recognized until after his death.  McAllister family of opticians in Philadelphia made a cylinder lens for a Rev. Goodrich. Goodrich obtained minus lenses, but as he explained in a letter to the McAllisters, vertical lines appeared clearer without his glasses and horizontal lines appeared clearer with his glasses. Based on their corresopndences, the McAllisters made a planoconcavecylindrical lens which Goodrich started wearing in May of 1828.  Visual illusions were discussed by the ancient Greeks.Christoph Scheiner (1611) described several observations about the eye, including the size of images reflected from the cornea. His double aperture principle is used inmost present-day auto refractors.The mathematician Aguillon published one of the first significant analyses of binocular vision in 1613. William Porterfield made an optometer in the mid 1700s and noted the existence of arelationship of accommodation and convergence. Thomas Young - trichromatic theory of color vision and crystalline lens as source of accommodation Johannes Purkinje, Czech physiologist, published books on sensory physiology in 1823 and 1826. His name is attached to many phenomena - Purkinje images, Purkinje tree, etc.Charles Wheatstone invented the mirror stereoscope and in 1838 used it to experiment on binocular vision and stereopsis. Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894), physiologist and physicist, wrote A Handbook of Physiological Optics According to Hofstetter, the background sciences for early optometry were stronger than for any other profession.Optometry has incorporated knowledge of optics, mathematics, psychology, and other sciences. And optometry has developed its own literature in clinical practice and vision science. Optometry has been the leader in investigations on clinical lens application, non-strabismic binocular vision problems, contact lenses, low vision, roleof vision in learning, etc.2. When were the first spectacles made?The exact origin and inventor of spectacles are unknown.Roger Bacon in the middle 13th century talked about placing a planoconvex lens on text for magnification.

Loading...