The Fascinating History of the Search Icon

This article originally appeared on Medium.

I’ve always been interested in the stories of how our common design elements came to exist, and I think the history of the “magnifying glass” search icon is especially great because it shows how metaphors can creep into our designs and take on a life of their own.

When I went looking, I found that one of the earliest traceable uses of a magnifying glass in a user interface was created by Keith Ohlfs.