Benjamin Martin (1704-1782) was born into a farming family and became a teacher, an author of scientific and mathematical books and a scientific instrument maker. His particular design of 'visual glasses' which have an inner ring or annulus, usually of horn or tortoiseshell, reduces the lens aperture and according to Martin himself was 'a great improvement over common spectacles'. These spectacles were treated with derision by other spectacle makers but were popular because of their novelty value. Martin eventually used them as a sign for his shop at 60 Fleet Street, London. At the age of 72 he was made bankrupt and attempted suicide, although not mortal the wound apparently hastened his death.