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In 1752 James Ayscough, an optician in London, England, advertised spectacles with double hinged side pieces. The second hinge allowed the sidepieces to be made longer, which probably helped keep them in place. Ayscough also believed that clear lenses gave were bad for the eyes, and recommended the use of green or blue ones. This idea was not new in the 1750s. The great diarist Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) purchased a pair of spectacles with green lenses from spectacle maker John Turlington in December 1666 in the hope that the tint might relieve the soreness of his eyes that he believed was caused by working in candlelight. In the eighteenth century, spectacles were used mainly for magnification?like modern reading glasses. So, while it would be easy to think these spectacles with green lenses were made as sunglasses, that is probably not the case.


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creator   Unknown
date   1780-1790
height   1.37"
length   6.0"
width   4.87"
process/materials   glass, steel
item type   Personal Items/Personal Artifacts
accession #   #1904.14.03

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