History is an amazing thing. However, most schools usually place a heavy focus on politics. It's not uncommon for most students to become very familiar with the history of the political system while not learning very much about the history of science and technology. And one of the best examples of this can be found with lens design. It also highlights why it's such a shame that history is taught in such an overly focused matter. Because the history of lens design is amazing and exciting. It's also quite inspirational to anyone who hears about it. The classic example is, of course, the microscope. It allowed people to look into a whole new realm for the very first time. But there's a host of other interesting examples of technological development in the optical world. For example, the development of the achromatic lens is surprisingly exciting. No less significant a figure as Newton himself believed it to be an impossibility. And it remained as such until an ameteur tried his hand at the development process. He managed to create something really amazing and proved that an achromatic lens could be real.
Modern development methods
But the biggest moral of the story can be found in what comes after. This served, in many ways, as the harbinger of a new age of lens design. Previously the development process had been relegated to a small group of people who needed to labor intensively over long periods. But around this time people realized that they had a chance to try new methods of design. This leads up to the present day when people can create an achromatic lens, or a variety of other designs, simply by entering values into a website. The resulting lens will then be created and shipped right to the person's doorstep.