This is a project about glasses and visual aids: where they came from, how they work—or don’t—and the people who wear them whom I’ll call Glassers.

For many, glasses or lenses are their most indispensable possession—the last thing they touch at night and the first in the morning. Lenses: we hate them, love them, lose them, hide them, break them, need them. We wear lenses to show we are not wearing glasses. We go under the knife, to avoid wearing them.

Glasses are emotionally charged. Because people love and hate their lenses (mostly hate), it’s a device with a human element, such as in that PBS series “How We Got to Now,” which examined glass. The New York Times reminds us glasses are worth another look. (“More intimate than underwear, because they’re worn on the outside.”)

On this site, I look at pop culture, history, and current trends in all things optical. From the lorgnettes of the rich at the opera, to the cheapos from mega-opticians like Cohen’s Optical, glasses daily serve a hundred fifty million Americans.

In “Letters from the Author,” I will post musings on glasses and excerpts from my work-in-progress, Four Eyes: The Pain and Joy of Wearing Glasses. Thanks for reading.

Shakespeare said the eyes were portals to the soul, but some of us need glassy manholes to reach them.