These aids to vision appear to have come into use about the fourteenth century. The earliest reference to them is in the work of Bernard Gordon, professor at Montpellier, who speaks of a collyrium, devised by him, which allowed a person to read without spectacles.
In 1360, Guy de Chauliac, in his treatise on Surgery, refers to the use of the lenses. The invention of spectacles is sometimes attributed to Roger Bacon, who died in 1225.
Further research, however, has shown that in 1215 Savino degli Armati, a Florentine, was the first who worked glass into the form of a lens. For him, therefore, may justly be claimed the honor of having invented spectacles.
He died in Florence in 1217, and was buried in the Church of Santa Marie Maggiore. On his stone is a Latin inscription, of which the following is a translation: " Here lies Savigno degli Armati, of Florence, inventor of spectacles. May God forgive his sins."
— British Medical Journal.
"Who Invented Spectacles." Wilson's Photographic Magazine. New York. February 1899. p.64.
Young Man Fig. 1 - Pince Nez - Portrait. Unknown. Photograph. E.J. Shearer. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2009.
Young Man Fig. 2 - Pince Nez - Portrait. Unknown. Photograph. Anonymous. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2009.
Young Man Fig. 3 - Spectacles - Portrait. Unknown. Photograph. Anonymous. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2009.