Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Glasses For Sarah Elizabeth

When my great great grandmother Sarah Elizabeth wanted to buy new eyeglasses back in the 1850s and 1860s, she must have had a very hard time. She was not wealthy, and lived in rural Pennsylvania. And she needed special glasses, tinted blue or green - they would have been harder to find, and definitely more expensive.

There was no such thing as being able to buy eye glasses online of course. You had to go to an optician in person, usually in a city. This wasn't easy for someone like Sarah Elizabeth, who lived a fair distance from Philadelphia. If she had been a wealthy urbanite, she might have chosen a fancy lorgnette or scissors glasses to peer through at the opera or parties. These were both types of glasses on a handle that were especially popular with women from the late 18th century on through the 19th. They were often gilded and had elaborate decorations. The lorgnette had a single handle; scissors glasses were V shaped. You can see pictures of them both below - aren't they beautiful?
A lorgnette

Sarah Elizabeth's more utilitarian glasses were wire framed, and tinted to protect her eyes from glare. Sir Thomas Longmore writes in 1885 in The Optical Manual that blue or smoke-tinted glasses were best for this purpose. If tinted lenses were not enough protection, he wrote, you could buy "Eye Protectors"; these were also tinted, but were spoon-shaped to keep dust and grit out of one's eyes (rather like goggles).

Scissors glasses
Luckily we have a much easier time when we buy glasses these days. I'm always amazed at how many styles of frames and lenses there are. My current glasses are bifocals - Longmore called them Franklin glasses, after Benjamin Franklin. Over the holidays all of us in the family are going to get new glasses - more bifocals for me, of course. And maybe this time we'll order them online, from GlassesUSA. is a terrific place to shop for glasses right now (or any time really, but especially now). They guarantee the 110% lowest price on all kinds of high quality glasses and frames, and guarantee 100% satisfaction.

They're having an Early Holiday Sale where you'll get 30% off any one pair of glasses and get free shipping anywhere in the US with the code CYBER2011. This is for basic single vision lenses, but you can get upgrades for additional cost. And if you need prescription glasses you can get 10% off with the code Blog10.The offer expires on December 4, 2011 - so go now and check out all the great glasses they have on offer. There's also a refer-a-friend program that can net you some perks, too. To keep up with the latest from GlassesUSA, you can join their FB page ( and follow them on Twitter (@GlassesUSA).

1 comment:

How to Start a Business said...

Good thing we have online stores now. This is especially useful for moms with small children, people that are home-bound, or simply in times of inclement weather.