Glasses have been around for over 700 years, whereas contact lenses are a relatively new invention. Contact lenses that cover your cornea have existed for over 60 years.
The contact lens history and story:
1508: Leonardo da Vinci demonstrates the concept of contact lenses
1823: The British astronomer Sir John Herschel illustrates the practical lens design
1887: First contact lens made from glass, which fitted over the entire eye.
1939: Contact lens made from plastic
1948: Plastic contact lenses made to cover the cornea
1971: Soft contact lenses were first introduced
1978: Followed by the introduction of gas permeable contact lenses
1981: Soft contact lenses for extended (overnight) wear produced
1986: Overnight wear gas permeable (GP) contact lenses were introduced
1987: Introduction of disposable soft contact lenses
1996: One-day disposable contact lenses introduced
2002: The introduction of silicone-hydrogel contact lenses
2010: Custom manufactured silicone-hydrogel contact lenses introduced
Soft disposable contact lenses have been a huge success, and continue to be the most popular.