The Invention of the Bifocal

May 23rd Celebrates The Invention of the Bifocals

Today on, “Days to Remember,” we celebrate how on May 23rd 1785, Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals.

I wear bifocals but I didn’t know it was invented in 1785, did you?

So what inspired Benjamin Franklin to inspire the bifocal?

Benjamin Franklin was a hyperope who likely required eyeglasses originally in the 1730s.
By the late 1750s he was usually described wearing them and they became an integral part of his face, at least for distance use.

Many paintings and contemporary sketches and satirical cartoons show him represented wearing his eyeglasses.

He admitted that he could not “distinguish a letter or even of large print without them”.

Benjamin Franklin began to advertise eyeglasses for sale in his newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, as early as 1738.

With moderate hyperopia he would have found eyeglasses to correct farsightedness useful by this time, about age 30.

What is hyperopia? It term used to describe farsighted people.

Von Rohr and several others credit optician Samuel Pierce with making bifocals for Franklin.

Pierce described people wearing bifocals in 1775 and he himself may have worn them in the 1760’s.
Although this is all noted in the Levene’s chapter no hard evidence is presented.

How do they make bifocals now?

Today’s YouTube video shows you how computer technology now grinds your lens to appropriate prescription.

There’s a small commerical in the beginning sorry about that but it’s very informative videos brought to you by user name, (Empire Optical Channel) as we celebrate how on May 23rd 1785, Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals.

Here are some fun facts, below that you may or may not know about the bio focal lens.

A bifocal lens without a clear dividing line is called a progressive lens. No one can tell you’re wearing progressive lenses.

The lenses are made so that the transition from near vision to far vision is gradual. One potentially limiting factor in progressives is that more lens space is needed for the transition.

The frame you pick needs to have a lens large enough to accommodate the necessary space.

Progressive lenses also can be harder to adjust to than standard bifocals; about 1 in 10 people find them difficult to wear.

Did you know bifocals’ also come in contacts?

Bifocal contacts are not for everyone, however. Bifocal contacts seem to work better as hard contacts rather than soft contacts.

Also, some people find that bifocal contacts don’t provide enough up-close vision to see as sharply as they would like.

Bifocal contacts also can be tricky to fit on your eye. It may take several visits with your eye care provider to get the right fit for you.

The first vision correction device was invented in 1000AD, and called a reading stone.

As you can imagine, it was for farsighted folk who couldn’t read properly, and was basically a glass sphere used as a magnifying glass.

Makes you really thankful for the thin and manageable lenses we have now, doesn’t it?

The first sunglasses, however, date back to 12th century China, where flat crystals of smoky quartz were mounted for personal use to reduce the glare from the sun.

It is also said that these ‘sunglasses’ were used by judges while presiding cases, so as not to give away their emotions. This is the earliest record of sunglasses using ‘lenses’, and materials to see through clearly during daylight or otherwise dates back even further.

You might remember Benjamin Franklin as one of two things, either as a founding father of the United States of America, or the guy who performed the lightning rod experiment.

What many people don’t know, however, is that Benjamin Franklin was also the inventor of bifocals. He was both myopic and hypermetropic, so he developed these special lenses to help him see better. Talk about multi-talented!

As we celebrate today how on May 23rd 1785, Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell


The First Reclining Chair

May 22nd Celebrates The First Reclining Chair

Today on Days to remember we celebrate how on May 22nd 1841, Henry Kennedy received a patent for the first reclining chair.

A recliner is when the occupant lowers the chair’s back and raises its front. It has a backrest that can be tilted back, and often a footrest that may be extended by means of a lever on the side of the chair, or may extend automatically when the back is reclined.

The word recline was first used in the 1660s. Beginning in 1880 the word recliner was used to describe a type of chair.

Around 1850, the French introduced a reclining camp bed that could serve as a chair, a bed and a chaise longue. It was portable and featured padded arm rests and a steel frame.

Knabush and Shoemaker, two American cousins, are credited with gaining a patent on a wooden recliner.
The design was the same wooden bench recliner found in other designs. Issued in 1928, the patent led to the founding of La-Z-Boy.

In 1930, Knabush and Shoemaker patented an upholstered model with a mechanical movement.

Daniel F. Caldemeyer is known as the father of the modern day recliner.

His invention, as owner of National Furniture Mfg. Co based in Evansville, Indiana, initiated the widespread home usage of the chair that he called the rocket recliner.

His name was based on the fact that he developed his chair based on the science of kinetics that he used while serving in the US Air Force.

His design was used by NASA for the seats in Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, but who was Henry Kennedy?

Henry Kennedy was a native resident of Philadelphia, in the county of Philadelphia, who was a cabinet-maker and upholsterer, and who had invented a new and improved action of the seat and back of a recumbent or library chair by means of the introduction of a spiral wire spring into the seat.

The nature of my invention consists in introducing a small wire spring horizontally between the back rail of the seat and the front rail of the chain, with a small pole which is inserted between the back and the front rails of the chair riming through a hole bored in the back rail of the seat, which on May 22nd 1841, Henry Kennedy received a patent for the first reclining chair.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

Martha’s Vineyard

May 21st Celebrates Martha’s Vineyard

Today on Days to remember we celebrate how on May 21st 1602, Martha’s Vineyard was first sighted by Captain Bartholomew Gosnold.

Martha’s Vineyard is an island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, known for being an affluent summer colony.

It includes the smaller Chappaquiddick Island, which is usually connected to the larger island, though storms and hurricanes have been known to separate the two islands.

The last such separation of the islands was in 2007, and as of April 2, 2015, the two islands are again connected.

Often called just “The Vineyard” the island has a land area of 100 square miles.

It’s the 58th largest island in the United States and the third largest on the East Coast of the United States, after Long Island and Mount Desert Island.

A smaller island to the south was named “Martha’s Vineyard” by the English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold, who sailed to the island in 1602.

Bartholomew Gosnold was an English lawyer, explorer, and privateer who were instrumental in founding the Virginia Company of London, and Jamestown in colonial America. He led the first recorded European expedition to Cape Cod. He is considered by Preservation Virginia (formerly known as the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities.

He obtained backing to attempt to found an English colony in the New World and in 1602 he sailed from Falmouth, England in a small Dartmouth bark, the Concord, with thirty-two on board.

Following the coastline for several days, he discovered Martha’s Vineyard and named it after his deceased daughter, Martha, and the wild grapes that covered much of the land.

Gosnold established a small post on Cuttyhunk Island, one of the Elizabeth Islands, near Gosnold, now in Massachusetts.

Like the nearby island of Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard was brought to prominence in the 19th century by the whaling industry, during which ships were sent around the world to hunt whales for their oil and blubber.

The discovery of petroleum in Pennsylvania gave rise to a cheaper source of oil for lamps and led to an almost complete collapse of the industry by 1870.

During the whaling era, wealthy Boston sea captains and merchant traders often created estates on Martha’s Vineyard with their trading profits.

Today, the Vineyard has become one of the Northeast’s most prominent summering havens, having attracted numerous celebrity regulars, but on May 21st 1602, Martha’s Vineyard was first sighted by Captain Bartholomew Gosnold.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

Levi Strauss

May 20th Celebrates Levi Strauss

Today on Days to remember we celebrate how on May 20th 1873, Levi Strauss began marketing blue jeans with copper rivets.

Born in Buttenheim, Bavaria, in 1829, the young Levi Strauss immigrated to the United States in 1847.

Strauss initially went into business selling dry goods along the East Coast, but in 1852, his brother-in-law encouraged him to relocate to the booming city of San Francisco.

He arrived in San Francisco in 1853 with a load of merchandise that he hoped to sell in the California mining camps.

Unable to sell a large supply of canvas, Strauss hit on the idea of using the durable material to make work pants for miners.

Strauss’ canvas pants were an immediate success among hardworking miners who had long complained that conventional pants wore out too quickly.

In 1872, Strauss received a letter from Jacob Davis, a customer and tailor who worked in the mining town of Reno, Nevada.

Davis reported that he had discovered canvas pants could be improved if the pocket seams and other weak points that tended to tear were strengthened by copper rivets.

Davis’ riveted pants had proven popular in Reno, but he needed a patent to protect his invention. Intrigued by the copper-riveted pants, Strauss and his partners agreed to undertake the necessary legal work for the patent and begin large-scale production of the pants.

Eventually, Strauss switched from using canvas to heavyweight blue denim, and the modern “blue jeans” were born.

Since then, Levi Strauss & Company has sold more than 200 million pairs of copper-riveted jeans. By the turn of the century, people outside of the mining and ranching communities had discovered that “Levi’s” were both comfortable and durable. Eventually, the jeans lost most of their association with the West and came to be simply a standard element of the casual American wardrobe.

As we celebrate how on May 20th 1873, Levi Strauss began marketing blue jeans with copper rivets.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

Marilyn Monroe Singing Happy Birthday

May 19th Celebrates Marilyn Monroe Singing Happy Birthday

Today on Days to remember we celebrate how on May 19th 1962, Marilyn Monroe performed a sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday” for U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The event was a fund-raiser at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Today’s YouTube presentation brought to you by user name, (William Forsche), gives you Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday to the president in 1962.

The interesting thing about Peter Lawford giving his introduction to Marilyn Monroe was when he addressed the audience as, ‘the late Marilyn Monroe,’ because on August 1st 1962 she had died, three later after her sultry rendition of singing Happy Birthday to the president.

Afterwards, as an enormous birthday cake was presented to him, President Kennedy came on stage and joked about Monroe’s version of the song, saying, “I can now retire from politics after having had Happy Birthday sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way,” alluding to Marilyn’s delivery, skintight dress, and image as a sex symbol.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy did not attend the celebration.

President Kennedy’s birthday celebration was held at the third Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962, and more than 15,000 people attended, including numerous celebrities. The event was a fundraising gala for the Democratic Party.

Monroe’s dress was noted for being made of a sheer and flesh-colored marquisette fabric, with 2,500 shimmering rhinestones sewn into it.

The dress was so tight-fitting that Monroe had difficulty putting it on; she wore nothing under it. It was designed by Jean Louis.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

Tina Fey

May 18th Celebrates Tina Fey

Today on Days to remember we celebrate how on May 18th 1970, Tina Fey was born.

Elizabeth Stamatina “Tina” Fey is an American actress, comedian, writer, and producer. She is best known for her work on the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live (1998-2006), acclaimed for her impression of former Alaska Governor and 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and for creating acclaimed television series 30 Rock.

Fey was born on May 18, 1970, in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.

By middle school, she knew she was interested in comedy.

Going by the name of Tina, Fey considered herself a “super nerd” during her high school and college years. She studied drama at the University of Virginia, and after graduating in 1992, she headed to Chicago, the ancestral home of American comedy.

She ended up spending many years at The Second City in Chicago where many SNL cast members first started out. Then in 1995, Saturday Night Live (1975) came to The Second City’s cast, including Fey’s friend, Adam McKay, as a writer, searching for new talent. What they found was Tina Fey.

After a few years, Tina made history by becoming the first female head writer in the show’s history. Tina also made her screen debut as a featured player during the 25th season by co-anchoring Weekend Update with Jimmy Fallon.

Today’s YouTube video brought to you by user name (Saturday Night Live) gives you Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in this comedy skit of Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton, as we celebrate Tina Fey’s birthday today.

Her husband, Jeff Richmond is a Second City director. That’s how they met. He is ten years older than she is.

Tina is close friends with fellow Saturday Night Live (1975) cast member Amy Poehler.

Tina is often compared to Nana Mouskouri, to whom she bears a striking resemblance. This may be due to both women’s common Greek ancestry and the fact that they both have black-rimmed glasses as their trademark, but nothing can be compared to celebrating Tina Fey’s birthday today!

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell

“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”

May 17th Celebrates You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

Today on Days to remember we celebrate how on May 17th 2012, Lisa Marie Presley performed her song “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” on American Idol’s results show.

“You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” is a 2012 song written by Lisa Marie Presley, with James Bryan McCollum and Sacha Skarbek.

The track was selected as single from her Storm & Grace album, and released as a single on April 10, 2012.

The track was described by the Presley Foundation’s own website as having an “ominous, swampy vibe.”
Today’s YouTube presentation brought to you my user name, (Kerry Fritz II) plays the infamous song Lisa Marie Presley performed her song “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” on May 17th 2012.

She may have lived in the shadow of her famous father, Elvis, for much of her life, but Lisa Marie Presley was clearly determined to show she is a singer in her own right.

The 44-year-old put in a sultry performance as she took to the American Idol stage to perform her new single You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.

Lisa Marie Presley was born on February 1, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. She has been married to Michael Lockwood since January 22, 2006.

They have two children. She was previously married to Nicolas Cage, Michael Jackson and Danny Keough.

Where did Lisa Maria Presley get the idea of her song “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” track?

In April of 2013, Lisa Marie contained words about Scientologist in her song, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” which was released ahead of the album Storm and Grace. ]

Based on those lyrics, it was pretty likely that longstanding rumors were true that Lisa Marie had left the church.

The lyrics to the rest of the album’s songs, and revealed that the words in the song “So Long” no longer left any doubt that Lisa Marie had left Scientology behind, which is how the idea of this track song came about.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell