Rimless Eyeglasses- The True Origionals

In the Beginning

While the origin of eyeglasses is generally agreed to have been formally devised in the 1280s in Italy, the Flemish were making excellent single lenses hundreds of years prior to that date.  Single examples of “seeing Stones” where a polish piece of curved glass was used to see either very close up, or very far away is noted in Early Greeks, the Vikings and Assyrians.

Please visit us at Framefixers.com for pricing and shipping information. You are always welcome to call 1-866-372-6339 too!

Regardless of these origins we can make a direct connection between the Flemish practice of polishing a single lens that when circular in shape and frosted on the edges to assist it in being held in front of the eye in a squint, became the birth of the European Monocle.  By the 1280s a pair of these, one for each eye could be held at the end of rods in a “V” shapes in front of the eyes and were called “Spectacles”

One early problem was the matter of how to hold the lenses in the right position correctly in front of the eyes…not so different from today.

 

Solutions for the future

The first solution was to set the two lenses apart with a wire “bridge” and then tie them across the face like a mask with ribbons.  Later a spring mechanism on the wire bridge eliminated the ribbons and pinched the nose to produce the “pince-nez.  This style was widely seen as the clip-on lenses of “Morpheus” in the Matrix movies.

In a very short while, the idea of a set of lenses, held apart with a center wire, and then held to the head with a wire leaving each lens at the outer edge and going back over the ears was born.  Thus we have the modern rimless eyeglass.

“Rimless” refers to the fact that there is no metal rim around each lens, and that the lenses are themselves part of the body of the frame.  Rimless bridges can be a simple arch as in the case of a “Windsor ” style, also referred to as a “saddle bridge”, or a pair of nose pads can be held in a pair of metal “harps” that descend from the bridge.

The temples can be made with or without hinges, and are affixed at the outermost part of the lenses on each side.

A key element of rimless frames is that the lens must be drilled, once at the center to affix the bridge, and once at the outer edge to affix the hinge assembly and temple arm.

 

Continued Evolution

Modern “rimless” frames fall into three general categories of construction.  The classic rimless eyewear from the 1920s to the 1960s were generally glass lenses, drilled with one hole at the inner and outer edges of each lens, and then affixed with a single threaded screw to the bridge in the center and the temples at the outer edges.  As design demands placed increasing pressure on the attachment points, the single hole evolved into a single hole and a lug notch that affixed the hole screw, and prevented rotation of the assembly by the virtue of the locating lug and its edge groove on the outer curve of the lens.

Modern rimless frames, frequently in Titanium have very thin components and rely on twin-drilled holes, side by side or vertically located to create an attachment point that will not rotate for the bridge and again for the temples.

While stylistically elegant and dramatic, these frames place a tremendous amount of pressure on two fine “compression” pins, which pass through the two holes, drilled in the lens where they are forced into twin sleeves with a special compression tool. This has allowed some manufacturers to make an entire frame that weighs less than one gram, without the lenses, and appears to be thread size when viewed on the wearer.

 

Bringing the Past into the Present

At FRAMEFIXERS.COM, we have developed several metal and plastic accessory parts that improve on some of the delicate vulnerabilities of these designs by adding an almost invisible collar of clear plastic, or wafer thin Titanium metal at just the right spot in he attachment points to reinforce and increase the durability and longevity of some of these fragile frames.

FRAMEFIXERS.COM is honored to join the lengthy line of innovators who design components and adaptations to repair, restore and refurbish vintage and modern eyewear form the “rimless” tradition.