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The History of Bifocals

Benjamin Franklin patented bifocal lenses in 1784. He had poor vision himself and became tired of having to constantly put on and remove pairs of glasses. He decided to create a single pair of glasses that could augment sight for both near and far distances. He cut the lenses from two pairs of glasses in half and then put the different halves together in a single pair of frames, thus creating the first pair of bifocals. Since Benjamin Franklin created them, bifocal lenses have seen a few minor improvements, but the basic design has remained the same. Then in 1959, progressive lenses were invented. Sometimes called no-line bifocals, progressive lenses were designed without the characteristic seam between the lenses that bifocals are known for. Many wearers consider them to be more aesthetically pleasing and also prefer the smoother transition between vision zones. However, bifocals also remain popular today and are still routinely worn by those in need of vision correction for both short and long distances.

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