eyeglasses from american revolution

At the time of the American Revolution nearly all eyeglasses in the Colonies came from England and Europe. The standard lens shape at that time was round. However, oval lenses had recently been introduced. The American Major-General Israel Putnam made a point of wearing the new oval lenses so that his spectacles "did not look as those of my enemy." His glasses are now owned by the New York Historical Society. Other colonists did the same including Benjamin Franklin. Franklin marked his glasses "B. Franklin 1773."

The Germans who settled in Pennsylvania brought with them eyeglasses made of brass. Fortunately, most of these spectacles are marked with a maker's name. The hessian soldiers hired by Great Brittain brought with them many brass spectacles. When these troops were defeated in battle, colonists took personal property, including eyeglasses, as war trophies.

You can see images of Revolutionary War era spectacles and cases in use during the revolution in the book, "Collectors Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution" pages 246 and 247. The book is written by George C. Neumann and Frank J. Kravic

Turn-Pin American Revolution Spectacles
American Revolution Era Sliding Temple Spectacles
Steel Double Folding Frame
Edward Scarlett Frame from the American Revolution
290-23
1001-38
290-25
249-27
Double Folding Spectacles with Large Wig Loops
German Sliding Temple Spectacles
Double Folding Spectacles with Green Lenses
Steel Double Folding Spectacles
2154-28
1139-08
200-08
2154-33
Sliding Temple Frame
German Turn-Pin Spectacles
ntique Double Folding Spectacles
273-17
1064-11
2281-16

 

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