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The Vintage Optical Shop

  • Features of old glasses from the Revolutionary Era

    Posted on March 11, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Round spectacles like those from pre-Revolutionary times continued to be made into the Revolutionary era, and can, in fact, be seen on many depictions of Benjamin Franklin, the father of the bifocal concept, himself. However, a time of clear change was underway in the technical sphere as much as in the political, and this is [...]


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  • CHANGES IN OLD EYEGLASSES FROM PRE-REVOLUTIONARY TO REVOLUTIONARY TIMES

    Posted on March 11, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

     
    Although it might be thought that the main changes from pre-Revolutionary to Revolutionary times in the British Colonies in North America were cultural and political, and that this would have little impact on the designs of old eyeglasses from this period, there was in fact a notable alteration in the way spectacles were made as [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • SILVER & GOLD VINTAGE EYE GLASSES FROM PRE-REVOLUTIONARY TIMES

    Posted on March 6, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    The choicest vintage eye glasses available to an affluent inhabitant of the British Colonies in North America in the time leading up to the American Revolution (17th through early 18th centuries) were silver and gold framed imports from the “home country” (that is, England). At that point, American craftsmen lacked the confidence and the technical [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • VINTAGE FRAMES & STYLISH WIGS

    Posted on March 6, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Vintage frames found on pre-Revolutionary American (or, more accurately, Colonial) glasses have many distinguishing features that both provide striking insights into the manufacturing techniques and social customs of their day. Lenses and eyerims are round on these vintage eyeglass frames, for example, due to the ease of making this shape with hand grinding methods. The [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • CONSTRUCTION OF METAL VINTAGE SPECTACLES

    Posted on March 5, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    The metal vintage spectacles worn in pre-Revolutionary America were mostly English imports, fashioned out of steel or bronze. Bronze was superior as a metal for this purpose, since stainless steel had not yet been invented and steel vintage spectacles would oxidize (rust) in humid conditions if not properly cared for.
    Silver and gold frames were also [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • METAL VINTAGE GLASSES FRAMES ON PRE-REVOLUTIONARY SPECTACLES

    Posted on March 4, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Although leather and horn vintage glasses frames are very common on the earliest American-made spectacles and pince nez, many of the surviving pre-Revolutionary spectacles have metal frames.
    This does not necessarily mean that such vintage glasses frames were more common than those made out of organic substances, since due to cost considerations, the reverse is almost [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • THE EARLIEST AMERICAN VINTAGE GLASSES

    Posted on March 1, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    The early days of the colonies which were to become the United States in the fulness of time were not quite as romantic as some might suppose after such a long remove of time. Besides the ferocious politics of the era, which led to some notable crimes, and the constant threat of torture and death [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • ELEGENT VINTAGE EYEGLASSES – THE MONOCLE & THE LORGNETTE

    Posted on March 1, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Not all forms of vintage eyeglasses survived to modern times. Pince nez still have a small following and even appear in the famous Matrix films as a pair of sunglasses on one of the characters; spectacles control most of the eyeglass market today; but monocles and lorgnettes have vanished from all places except the movie [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • THE DIVERSE FORMS OF ANTIQUE EYE GLASSES

    Posted on March 1, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Antique eye glasses were often made in forms that are very familiar to us today, despite a few cosmetic differences. They have eyerims connected by a simple bridge, temples to secure them to the head either by tying a ribbon around the back of the head or by hooking them over the ears, and so [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • THE SECRETS OF LENSES FOUND IN ANTIQUE FRAMES

    Posted on February 27, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Though antique frames reveal much of the maker, and can give you a window onto the skilled hand manufacturing techniques of a bygone age as well, you should not neglect the lenses when you are scrutinizing an old pair of spectacles, whether they are from the age of the Robber Barons, the Civil War Era [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • ANTIQUE SPECTACLES & THEIR LENSES - GLASS & CRYSTAL

    Posted on February 26, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

     
    Antique spectacles had different lenses than today's. Glass and plastic lenses are so prevalent in our own day, and are manufactured to such a high degree of precision, that they have completely supplanted other materials that were once used to provide optic lenses to the nearsighted. Antique spectacles frequently made use of crystal in place [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • THE MATERIALS OF ANTIQUE GLASSES FRAMES

    Posted on February 26, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

     
    Although it is not the first thing that the newcomer to the world of antique glasses frames  thinks of, the material that antique eyeglasses are made out of is one of the many keys to determining when they were made, and is an interesting subject in its own right. The clever, labor intensive techniques developed [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • THE DESIGN OF ANTIQUE GLASSES

    Posted on February 26, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

                Some of the interest of antique glasses comes from the interest of seeing how people solved the problem of designing spectacles in an era before modern precision manufacturing and materials technology. Before the latter part of the 19th century, both lenses and antique glasses frames were individually hand made by [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

  • THE APPEAL OF ANTIQUE EYEGLASSES

    Posted on February 22, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

     
    Antique eyeglasses, whether of relatively recent manufacture, made within living memory, or produced back in the misty, half-seen times of our Republic's early days, appeal in a number of different ways to the collector and to those who are simply looking for something distinctive and unusual to wear in place of modern eyeglasses. They are pieces of history [...]


    This post was posted in In the beginning

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