Answered By: Regan Brumagen
Last Updated: Jul 19, 2016     Views: 69

Books you may want to request on Interlibrary Loan (some we have and some we don't, so your librarian will need to search for holdings for these...they will know how to do this!)

1) Dipotrique Oculaire (in French). 419 p. 60 pl. Paris, 1671 by Cherubin D'Orleans. (I found this in the British Optical Association Catalogue, published in 1932, which is a bibliography of works on optics owned by the British Optical Association Library & Museum. Very useful, if you haven't seen it. According to their notes on this publication, this book shows "the construction of optical apparatus, particularly telescopes, microscopes, and machines for polishing and grinding lenses." I realize this is a little later than you hoped for, but it may lead you elsewhere.)

2)Science and Instruments in Seventeenth Century Italy by Silvio Bedini (has info on lens grinders) Variorum Press 1994---again, later than you wanted but the bibliography might be useful to you.

3) There is a really useful article, which I'd be happy to photocopy and send to you, if you haven't seen it...just let me know....called The Cover Design: Early Optical Lens-Grinding Lathe by Silvio Bedini and published in Technology and Culture vol. 8 1967 in which Bedini states that "the earliest known illustration of apparatus designed specifically for lens production is a woodcut of a lathe which was published for the first time in Manzini's seventeenth-century Italian work on optics." However, he also says that the "manuscript literature of technology contains illustrations of several machines devised for grinding and polishing mirrors and hard stones for decorative purposes, and it is probable that some of these were adapted to the polishing of lenses as well." He goes on to list these manuscripts.

4) A few things came up in a national bibliographic database under the heading "lenses--early works to 1800." These include:

Memoire sur l'optique: moyen de perfectionner les objectifs des lunettes achromatiques; lu a l'Academie Royale des Sciences le 5 Decembre 1787 by M. Grateloup (Paris, 1788)

Traite de l'usage des lunettes et pieces curieuses qui dependent de cet art by P. Boudon, 1682

Uso de los antoios para todo genero de vistas en que se ensena a concocer los grados que a cada uno le faltan de su vista, y los que tienen qualesquier anotjos by Benito Daza de Valdes, 1623

Lettera all'ill. sig. Conte Carl' Antonio Manzini si gragguagulia di un nuovo lavoro, e componimento di lenti, che servono a occhialoni, o semplici, o composti by Eustachio Divini, 1695

Instruction sur l'usage des lunettes ou conserves, pour toutes sortes de vues.... by marc Mitouflet Thomin, 1746

Rogerii Bacconis Angli viri eminentissimi Perspectiua in qua.... by Roger Bacon, 1614

These are all available on microfilm through 2 sets called Corning Museum Library of Rare Books, 18th-19th century and 15-17th century. I don't know what they contain, but they may have something of interest to you.

Maurolico, Francesco and Crew, Henry. The Photismi de lumine of Maurolycus; a chapter in late medieval optics; translated from the Latin into English by Henry Crew. **New York**, Macmillan, 1940. xix, 134 p. illus., diagrs.,
facsims., port. *Notes: Translated from the **Naples** edition of 1611 with facsimile of t.-p. of the original edition.*

Lindberg, David C. Studies in the history of medieval optics. London :Variorum Reprints, 1983. 1 v. (various pagings,302 p.). *Notes: 14 articles reprinted from various sources, 1966-1982. Includes bibliographical references and index.*

Marks, John. Science and the making of the modern world. London:Heinemann, 1983. xiii, 507 p.

5) Finally,we suggest that you contact David Fleishman, a contributor to the website Antique Spectacles ( He is very interested in the early history of lens-making and might be a useful contact for you. His contact info is on the website at He has done a number of research projects that may relate to what you are investigating.

I do hope this information helps. Please let me know if you would like a photocopy of that article.

Regan Brumagen 

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