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Quiz about Sight Unseen  Spectacles
Quiz about Sight Unseen  Spectacles

Sight Unseen - Spectacles Trivia Quiz


A few interesting facts about spectacles and reading glasses for you. Happy viewing.

A photo quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 2 mins.
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Author
Creedy
Time
2 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
380,615
Updated
Apr 24 24
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
9 / 10
Plays
1449
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 23 (9/10), panagos (9/10), Guest 86 (6/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. The first eyeglasses were manufactured at the end of the 13th century in which country? Hint


photo quiz
Question 2 of 10
2. Early style glasses were manufactured by joining two magnifying glasses together with what? Hint


photo quiz
Question 3 of 10
3. By the 15th century the use of eyeglasses had spread as far as which large country? Hint


photo quiz
Question 4 of 10
4. Which early American polymath invented bifocals? Hint


photo quiz
Question 5 of 10
5. In 1825, British astronomer George Airy designed lenses to correct which visual problem? Hint


photo quiz
Question 6 of 10
6. From the 1840s to 1900, glasses worn without ear pieces were very popular. Can you name them from the pictured clue? Hint


photo quiz
Question 7 of 10
7. Other glasses that were popularly worn in the lead-up to the 20th century were lorgnettes and which other style? Hint


photo quiz
Question 8 of 10
8. One relatively recent design to eyeglasses, in an attempt to correct vision, is known as what? Hint


photo quiz
Question 9 of 10
9. Who designed adjustable corrective lenses in 2008? Hint


photo quiz
Question 10 of 10
10. The use of metals in the 21st century has greatly improved glasses frames. Can you name one of these from the clue provided?

Hint


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Jun 05 2024 : Guest 23: 9/10
May 14 2024 : panagos: 9/10
May 14 2024 : Guest 86: 6/10
May 04 2024 : Guest 65: 8/10
Apr 25 2024 : Guest 136: 8/10
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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The first eyeglasses were manufactured at the end of the 13th century in which country?

Answer: Italy

Though the ability to enlarge images with convex lenses was being discussed as far back as the early 11th century, eyeglasses weren't invented until circa 1286. Oddly enough however, and although we do have the estimated date for their invention, we don't have the name of the inventor. That date is mentioned in a sermon given by the Dominican friar, Giordano da Pisa (ca. 1255-1311), copy of which has come down to us through history. Delivered on 23 February, 1306, he stated that "It is not yet twenty years since there was found the art of making eyeglasses, which make for good vision...so short a time that this new art, never before extant, was discovered...I saw the one who first discovered and practiced it, and I talked to him". Though the inventor was unwilling to share his discovery, one of Giordano's colleagues was able to duplicate the process, and was soon generously distributing same.

Sadly so, it didn't take too long after that for a guild to be established regulating the entire process of manufacturing and selling this amazing new invention, and that which was given by a warm heart soon turned into cold, hard cash.
2. Early style glasses were manufactured by joining two magnifying glasses together with what?

Answer: Rivets

These early vision devices were riveted close together, in order for the handles to grip either side of the nose. With a one size fits all policy at first, and the discomfort this would have caused for many, it wasn't too long before differences in size began to follow.

Initially held to the eye with the hand, nobody at that early stage had thought to add ear handles to the design, but at least it was a beginning. These early design spectacles were know as - what else - rivet glasses. Amazingly, a pair of rivet glasses, dated circa 1400, still exists today.

These were found hidden under the floorboards in a convent in Germany of all places. One wonders why the little nun who hid them there found it so necessary to do so, but unfortunately this is unknown. Nuns from that order were expected to devote their lives to contemplation and work out in the field in between times, so perhaps reading material of any kind was forbidden to them. Whatever the case, that dainty little muffled sister managed to obtain and keep secret a pair of glasses for her own use for years.
3. By the 15th century the use of eyeglasses had spread as far as which large country?

Answer: China

Some people mistakenly believe that it was the Chinese who invented glasses, and that Marco Polo (1254-1324) brought a pair back from him on his famous travels to that land, but this is not the case. There is no mention of these devices in any of his extensive notes, and nor is any mention of them made in China itself until the 15th century.

This can be found documented in Joseph Needleham's 1962 "Science and Civilisation in China" (Part 1), along with the further information that these spectacles were in fact imported from elsewhere.
4. Which early American polymath invented bifocals?

Answer: Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, had a brilliant mind. This "author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat" also suffered rather badly not only from myopia (short-sightedness), but also from presbyopia (blurred vision and inability to focus on objects that are close). Both are vision problems of course, but where myopia can be found even in the very young, presbyopia is more a vision difficulty as the result of ageing. Benjamin Franklin had both, and proceeded to deal with them with his usual degree of common sense.

He invented bifocals to overcome both conditions. In fact, this tubby little statesman with the razor sharp mind is thought to have invented them fifty years earlier than the date for which he is normally credited.
5. In 1825, British astronomer George Airy designed lenses to correct which visual problem?

Answer: Astigmatism

Astigmatism is blurred vision that, unlike the more common near-sightedness or far-sightedness, cannot be compensated for by the eye's accommodation mechanism because the degree of optical error is different depending on the axis one looks at - the sufferer is more near-sighted on the horizontal axis than on the vertical one or vice versa. George Airy (1801-1892) was a British mathematician and astronomer who studied planetary orbits and solid mechanics. He also established Greenwich in London as the line of longitude for the prime meridian, with that line set at zero degrees. In fact, this brilliant man achieved so much in his other fields of work that his creation of corrective lenses for the visual problem of astigmatism hardly rates a mention. That was in 1825 however.

Oh, but this is lovely: While on a walking tour of Derbyshire in 1824, George met Richarda Smith. He described that meeting as "Our eyes met ... and my fate was sealed ... I felt irresistibly that we must be united" and two days later he proposed. Talk about the transit of Venus. And the photo clue in case you missed it? It's a part image of the stigmata of Christ, so stigmata (on the hands in the photo clue) becomes astigmatism for the answer.
6. From the 1840s to 1900, glasses worn without ear pieces were very popular. Can you name them from the pictured clue?

Answer: Pince-nez

Pince-nez, glasses without any earpieces, were kept in place by being pinched onto the nose. Hence the name - pince for pinch, and nez for nose. These glasses had been worn since the beginning of the 15th century but were described as being at the height of their popularity in the sixty years leading up to the 20th century.

The bridge, which is the piece that fits over the nose, was kept attached to the nose by two spring loaded clips. Each pair had to be manufactured to fit the size of the wearer's proboscis. Fancy taking casts of noses. Gentlemen from those times wouldn't want to have a lot of nose hair dangling out when the cast was removed - instant depilation.

Another design, the C-bridge type, kept these spectacles in place with a flexible piece of metal, but this often snapped with repeated use. Pince-nez, when not in use, were hung around the neck on a piece of material or metal, or tied to a lapel or hair clasp. Just for a bit of trivia, United States President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) wore the C-bridge type of pince-nez.
7. Other glasses that were popularly worn in the lead-up to the 20th century were lorgnettes and which other style?

Answer: Scissors glasses

Again made without ear pieces, lorgnettes were glasses that were held up to the eyes by a handle to which the spectacles were attached. These were worn more as a piece of fashionable jewellery rather than a corrective device, so, in that regard, were useless as a vision enhancer. Scissors glasses were spectacles that consisted of two separate lenses, with each one mounted to a Y-shaped piece of metal like a slingshot. These were the precursor to the lorgnette, and, once again, were more of a fashionable statement than anything else. Believe it or not, US President George Washington wore scissors glasses, as did French military commander and emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Then of course there was the single lens vision enhancer known as the monocle. Worn from the 1830s until the 20th century, this was designed to be held in place in the eye socket by small springs. The unfortunate thing with them is that if one's eyebrows were raised too high, the monocle would pop out. Socialist and political philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883) wore a monocle. One would be inclined to think that, with his belief in communism and sharing things equally, the very least he could have done is worn one over his other eye as well.
8. One relatively recent design to eyeglasses, in an attempt to correct vision, is known as what?

Answer: Pinhole

Pinhole glasses have lenses made of an opaque material into which hundreds of tiny holes have been made. These allow only a small amount of light to enter the eye itself, and, as a result, increase depth perception. They are said to work particularly well for people with difficulty in focusing light from images.

The trouble is that when light hits two pinholes side by side, it allows two different angle of the same image into the eye - and this can create double vision. So, all in all, the scientific jury is still out on this method of improving vision. Though they've been worn since appromimately 1950, it is not known who came up with the ultimate design of pinhole glasses because the idea of pinhole vision itself is hundreds of years old. The Inuit people from the Arctic regions, for example, used a form of pinhole goggles to help protect their eyes from the glare of the snow.
9. Who designed adjustable corrective lenses in 2008?

Answer: Joshua Silver

Professor Joshua Silver is a physicist from the United Kingdom. He has worked in various areas dealing with defective vision for many years. One of his new and impressive contributions has been in the altering of the curvature of lenses. He has also spent a great amount of his time creating other affordable corrective lenses, particularly for those populations of third world countries. That work in altering the curvature of lenses is really unique, fascinating even.

These are silicone filled lenses that can easily be adjusted by the wearer him or herself, leading to a success rate of some 90% in improved vision for the defects for which they have been designed. Amazing, isn't it?
10. The use of metals in the 21st century has greatly improved glasses frames. Can you name one of these from the clue provided?

Answer: Titanium

The frames of glasses in the 21st century can be manufactured from some wonderful metals, such as titanium. These can withstand being dropped heavily onto the floor, bent out of shapes, sat on by portly grandfathers, and even accidentally going through a washing machine cycle.

The most miraculous thing of all, which, no doubt, people will yawn about in time to come, is that some of these elements are known as memory metals. They have the ability to return to their correct shape if bent completely out of shape! That's incredible. And it can only get better and better from now on as we "look" eagerly towards the future of mankind.
Source: Author Creedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor WesleyCrusher before going online.
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