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Transcriber: TED Translators admin
Reviewer: Joanna Pietrulewicz I think that at the time, Catwoman had a really
cool pair of glasses in the Batman series
that was on television. And I wanted to be cool like her. It didn’t occur to me that glasses were really a medical device. (Small Thing.) (Big Idea.) When light rays reflect off an object and enter the eye through the cornea, your retina converts this
light into electrical impulses that are sent to the brain, which interprets the impulses and allows you to understand
what you’re seeing. Eyeglasses help you see. The earliest forms of eye gear can be traced back 4,000 years. Cultures that needed to adapt
to climates that were snowy created eye shields, and they were made of
bone and animal hides. They had small slits
for people to see through, but no lenses. The first vision aid
was called a reading stone and was invented over 1,000 years ago. It’s not exactly clear
who invented the first eyeglasses, but many people
attribute it to the Italians. Early versions of eyeglasses
were called rivet spectacles. They were two magnifying glasses
that were hinged together at the bridge of the nose. It took some time for eyeglasses to land on the perfect design. They didn’t really have sides, which are also called temples, or arms, until about the 17th century. Modern-day eyeglasses
feature a pair of rims that hold corrective lenses, a bridge that connects the rims, sides that slide behind the ears, hinges that connect
the sides to the frames, and on some glasses, a pair of temple tips for behind the ear comfort. In American culture, 20th century cinema
helped popularize eyeglasses. Audiences would see
glamorous actresses and actors donning glasses
to take on a different persona. Sometimes a pair of glasses
became popularized by the actual person
that was wearing them, and then that personality trait was projected into the actual device. You had the aviator glasses, which showed a forward-thinking, adventurous type of person. Glasses with heavy frames
signified intelligence or nerdiness. Wayfarers signified
this kind of nerdy punk, the outlaw, the misfit. Glasses have become
so popular as a fashion device that some people actually don glasses without a prescription lens at all, because they want to portray
a certain attribute about themselves. Glasses are a lifeline to people. People that can’t see
well enough to drive, well enough to cook, well enough to read rely on glasses
for maintaining their lives. And there’s lots of other
objects in our society that have been created to help overcome various
physical obstacles. And it’s only the eyeglasses that have catapulted
to that fashion statement. Wouldn’t it be wonderful
if anything that we use, any device that we’ve invented
to help our humanity could also be elevated in the same way? (Upbeat music)

James Carver

31 Replies to “The function and fashion of eyeglasses | Small Thing Big Idea, a TED series”

  1. I think prosthetics have reached that level. They are a huge fashion accessory for those with them who want to make them so.

  2. Whoever said "Guys dont make passes at girls with glasses"…Maury Povich determined that was a lie! 🤷🏾‍♀️🤓😉

  3. You are trying too hard to be Vox.
    Tune down the sound effects. Good sound effects should be like a good puppet master; felt by the audience, controlling the narrative, but flows seamlessly unnoticed.
    When working your animations, focus on the depth and quality rather than the quantity being exhibited.
    TED you are all about Technology, Engineering, and DESIGN. Put out works of amazing educational merit that is worthy of your cause and mission.

  4. I hate wearing glases. They get dust or they foggy, you can wear them in the rain… Hate it.
    Sadly I can affort eye surgery and I eard that it doesn't completly solve the problem. So, not great, but it's the best we got.

    That said, people have told me that I look completly diferent without them. Even comparing the change with Clark Kent and Superman.

  5. ☼ IVE NEVER HAD A PRESCRIPTION! i have 7 pair. Youre right, ima get a wheelchair & colostomy! lets elevate all devices to fashion!

  6. Yeah, EssilorLuxottica's monopoly making crazy money on us.
    Glasses can have a markup of 1,000% – VOX arcticle:

    "This week, the Los Angeles Times spoke with two former executives of LensCrafters: Charles Dahan and E. Dean Butler, who founded LensCrafters in 1983. Both admitted that today, glasses are marked up nearly 1,000 percent."
    "…Still, as the former LensCrafters executives revealed, many glasses really cost about $20 to make."

    On top of it, most myopia cases are induced by over prescription.

    Check guys and girls.

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