Scissors-glasses (or binocles-ciseaux) are eyeglasses, normally used to correct distance-vision, mounted on scissoring stems rather than on temple stems as modern eyeglasses are.
The invention of scissors-glasses solved the problem of the single lensed monocle or "quizzing glass", thought to be tiresome to the eye, by providing two lenses on a "Y" shaped frame. They usually had a ring in the end of the handle so that they could be worn on a ribbon or gold chain around the neck.
Elegant examples, often gilded and highly ornamented, became common among the more fashionable members of French and German society in the second half of the 18th century. George Washington, Lafayette and Napoleon used scissors glasses. In French they are called binocles or binocles-ciseaux and the French scissor glasses are more delicate, ornate, and more of a fashion accessory than those made in other parts of Europe.
Figure 36: Golden Scissors glasses. Figure 37: Scissors glasses.
Figure 38: Stock Scissors glasses.
In the early 20th century, Moritz von Rohr at Zeiss (with the assistance of H. Boegehold and A. Sonnefeld), developed the Zeiss Punktal spherical point-focus lenses that dominated the eyeglass lens field for many years.
Despite the increasing popularity of contact lenses and laser corrective eye surgery, glasses remain very common, as their technology has improved. For instance, it is now possible to purchase frames made of special memory metal alloys that return to their correct shape after being bent. Other frames have spring-loaded hinges. Either of these designs offers dramatically better ability to withstand the stresses of daily wear and the occasional accident. Modern frames are also often made from strong, light-weight materials such as titanium alloys, which were not available in the earlier times.