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Did Leonardo Da Vinci Invent Contact Lenses In 1508?


Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was without doubt a man much ahead of his time. His great knowledge and scientific curiosity resulted in a number of incredible inventions.  Although some of his inventions were re-inventions based on ancient knowledge, his role and contribution to the development of science cannot be disputed.

Among many things, da Vinci illustrated the concept of contact lenses as early as 1508! First contact lens manufactured from glass, and fitted to cover the entire eye took place in 1887, but da Vinci produced the first known sketches that suggested the optics of the human eye could be altered by placing the cornea directly in contact with water.


Da Vinci was right in his assumptions. He filled a bowl with water, then placed a man’s face into it.  It is said that for the first time the individual was able to see clearly.

His experiment revealed two important scientific factors. Improved refraction and improved peripheral visual acuity.

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