Artifact Spotlight: Spectacles

Christeah Dupont, Point Ellice House Museum & Gardens

By the end of the 19th century, spectacles or eyeglasses became a more common accessory. As knowledge of the eye increased and other societal changes took place – such as reading for pleasure – there was new demand for better aids to improve vision. In the Point Ellice House collection we have many different types and styles of spectacles, including several meant for reading, as well as tinted folding glasses. We don’t know exactly which family member these glasses belonged to, though many of our eyeglasses were designed for women and it is likely that most belonged to Kathleen O’Reilly (b. 1867, d. 1945). Do you wear glasses? What do your glasses say about your personality and style?

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