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Ophthalmological Numismatics
October 2003

October 2003

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2003 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2003

Arch Ophthalmol. 2003;121(10):1445. doi:10.1001/archopht.121.10.1445

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), statesman, scientist, and inventor, was born in Boston, Mass. He established himself in the printing business in Philadelphia, Pa, which is where he became involved in politics and science. While serving as the US ambassador to France, he invented bifocal spectacles in 1784.

The firm Bausch and Lomb, commemorating the 150th anniversary of this invention in 1934, issued a medal of Franklin holding a pair of his bifocal spectacles. It was engraved by Felix Weil and created by the firm Medallic Art Co (Figure 1 andFigure 2).