May 21, 2013
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:
TUESDAY, MAY 21: LENS CRAFTING
Tuesday, May 21st
One of the most versatile and gifted people in American history announced the invention of bifocal eyeglasses this month in 1785.
had been using one pair of glasses to read with and another for distant vision. Tired of switching between pairs, he had the two pairs of lenses cut in half and mounted in the same frame. The idea of these split lenses, or bifocals, was slow to be adopted because of cost. Among Franklin's many other inventions were watertight bulkheads for ships, the lightning rod, and the wood stove. Today, Americans spend over
a year at the nation's nearly 16,000 optical stores for frames and lenses, including bifocals.
is in its 17th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sources: Kane's Famous First Facts, 50722007 Economic Census, NAICS 446130
is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at
(look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau