In ancient times they did not know how to make glasses from glass. Although, apparently, they already knew that glass, like rock crystal, topaz, and other transparent minerals have an interesting property: it not only transmits light but sometimes it can remove or move nearer, reduce or enlarge an object that you look through him.
Transparent Glass Ball
Transparent Glass Ball

The Roman writer Pliny describes glass balls filled with water through which "everything small seems large." And during the excavations of Pompeii, they found real glass lenses.

How did the inhabitants of this city use them? Maybe they wore these lenses with them and applied to their eyes, wanting to make out something better. Or maybe they used magnifying glasses instead of matches. After all, it is worth holding such a glass in front of the sun, above the board at the right distance, and the board will instantly begin to smolder and light up. It is possible that the Pompeians appreciated precisely this property of magnifying glasses.

But be that as it may, they already knew how to grind the lenses. And although in those days they still did not wear glasses like ours, they already knew the ability of glass to enhance human vision.

Based on these considerations, the inscription on the tombstone of the Florentine resident Salvino-Armato d’Armati cannot be considered correct - he did not invent glasses. He was probably a famous lens grinder. And popular rumor attributed to him the invention.

In fact, this invention was made by people of the ancient world, but it, like many other great inventions, did not become the property of the common people. Lenses were used only by wealthy people.

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