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Thread: Reproduction period glasses

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    66

    Default Reproduction period glasses

    Having grown weary of squinting at events and talking to trees I mistook for confederate soldiers and not being a good candidate for contact lenses I am now considering purchasing a pair of period reproduction spectacles. I have been in contact with The Grand Spectacle in New York and was impressed with the owner, but considering this will be a major financial outlay--close to a thousand dollars between my mother and myself. I am seeking opinions from anyone who may have personal experience with this company or with period reproduction glasses. Before anyone suggest we seek real period frames I will state up front that we consider using period items for everyday use as sacrilege, we just want some good reproductions. The guy said his glasses have been featured in movies including Cold Mountain though he was quick to point out in that movie the scene where Ada's father is dead are not his glasses and said not correct.

    So any and all input on the subject is welcomed.
    Thanks,
    Euphemia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Central New York
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    372

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Euphemia
    Before anyone suggest we seek real period frames I will state up front that we consider using period items for everyday use as sacrilege...
    I would not give it a second thought. While I would not use an original uniform or weapon, period frames are not rare by any means. There are lots of them on eBay and from other vendors, such as Eyeglass Warehouse.

    http://www.eyeglasseswarehouse.com/
    http://clothing.listings.ebay.com/Me...istingItemList
    Yours most respectfully, your obedient servant,

    R. L. ("Rob") Griffiths.
    Company "G", 157th N.Y. Vols.
    Forum member since November 17th, 2004.

    "I am not aware of ever having used a profane expletive in my life, but I would have the charity to excuse those who may have done so, if they were in charge of a train of Mexican pack mules at the time." - U. S. Grant

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Marshall, VA
    Posts
    260

    Default

    I got lucky and very recently found a pair of Pince-Nez for $15.00. They were in very very good condition. Although I will have to find a delicate gold chain for it in which to attach to a hair pin or a chatalian.

    I have also picked up a pair of spectacles without a case for less than $20 at a local antique shop. The hard for me is finding someone who can put my perscription in them.

    I wish I could help you more with a place for reproduction frames. Good luck!

    ~Kerri
    ~8th Georgia Infantry, Co. A
    The Rome Light Guard
    Capt. Langley & Capt. Herman
    5th ANV Reg Cmdr, Col. "Duffie" G.L. Miller

    ~7th New York Cavalry, Co. A
    1st Regiment of Cavalry
    Capt. Vince Aquino
    XVIII Corp

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    110

    Default glasses

    Hi.
    Wait until you get the bill for you lenses after they are made to fit the smaller period one. OUCH. Of course, it depends how strong your lenses need to me. I am up to the tri's so I figure that is the reson for the cost.
    SIncerely,
    William Feuchtenberger

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    222

    Default

    Madame,

    Flea Markets, antique malls, etc are often a source for eyewear. With the benefit of being able to physically handle and assess their worth.

    I mention this, not to in any way dispute your preference for reproduction eyewear, but only to share a little different perspective.

    There are literally thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of period eyeglasses in the market. And now fairly useless except as conversation pieces, OR......

    Wear them.
    Daily.
    The fragility of modern eyewear is the same as antique. Barring a catastrophic " Road Runner" cartoon incident with a steamroller, they both are repairable.
    Your prescription will cost the same in either.

    I recognize the complexity of the issue of preservation of artifacts . Even ones as mundane , and, in the moment, abundant, as eyeglasses>

    The question arises;
    What museum quality preservation is being done?
    The answer is: Very little.
    Usually due to lack of provenance, money, or condition, for example.
    Most period glasses/frames are unacceptable to Conservators.


    Purchase and use of period frames by dedicated LH's might save this minutae (overall), more so than not.

    A couple of personal bonuses for me;

    I invariably have at least one moment in the day when I think about our history. It's right in front of my eyes.
    And questions about the life of the original owner spring to mind.
    And suppositions lead to research in particular areas that usually improve my understanding of our forebears.

    Frequently, I recieve curious glances or questions about these frames.
    It's at the least an opportunity to ,hopefully, educate.
    And though it may not be as "sexy" as holding an original Harpers Ferry, most people will get a kick out of holding a "150 year old piece of history".

    Spin added.

    Humble regards,
    Kevin Ellis,
    26th NC

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Marshall, VA
    Posts
    260

    Default

    Mr. Ellis,

    Very well spoken and it adds an incentive for me to hurry and get my spectacles completed as soon as possible.

    ~Kerri
    ~8th Georgia Infantry, Co. A
    The Rome Light Guard
    Capt. Langley & Capt. Herman
    5th ANV Reg Cmdr, Col. "Duffie" G.L. Miller

    ~7th New York Cavalry, Co. A
    1st Regiment of Cavalry
    Capt. Vince Aquino
    XVIII Corp

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Burke, VA
    Posts
    307

    Default eyeglasses for the otherwise blind

    If purchasing a set of period frames, make sure the part that holds the lenses closes with a screw and not a rivet. A screw can be loosened while a rivet is fixed and you can't remove it without breaking the frames. So only get riveted glasses if your prescription matches the glass already in the frames.

    Next, before you purchase any frames, research the topic. It would be a shame to purchase antique glasses that you later find are way past our period. I think, in general, anything with round lenses is past our period and I think earwires that wrap around the ears are also just past civil war (despite one of the characters in _Glory_ wearing a pair with earwires).

    You optometrist should be able to cut the lenses to fit. After all, they have to cut the lenses regardless of what frames you get. You will just freak out his or her staff who "have never done anything that tiny." But I can get bifocals to fit in my frames and people are amazed at the small size of the lenses.

    Also, if you require bi or tri focals, skip the progressives and get real bifocals with the obvious line.

    Michael Mescher
    Michael Mescher
    visit us at:
    Ragged Soldier Sutlery
    www.raggedsoldier.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    372

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mmescher
    It would be a shame to purchase antique glasses that you later find are way past our period. I think, in general, anything with round lenses is past our period and I think earwires that wrap around the ears are also just past civil war (despite one of the characters in Glory wearing a pair with earwires).
    Riding temples, as they were called, date from 1885. The technology to make steel thin and yet flexible and resilient did not exist until that time.

    Eyeglass Warehouse has good descriptions of frames produced during different time periods.
    Yours most respectfully, your obedient servant,

    R. L. ("Rob") Griffiths.
    Company "G", 157th N.Y. Vols.
    Forum member since November 17th, 2004.

    "I am not aware of ever having used a profane expletive in my life, but I would have the charity to excuse those who may have done so, if they were in charge of a train of Mexican pack mules at the time." - U. S. Grant

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bethlehem
    Posts
    185

    Default

    I am another advocate of the Eyeglass warehouse, they have a large assortment of early 19th century spectacles. Not to mention they get back to you quickly and ship items quickly, more importantly they arrive intact. In the case of glasses the best route to go is original.
    Respectfully Yours,
    S. M. Lamb

    "Our Reg't is composed of Germans, Dutch-Americans, and Irish they being the majority and very hard set. Our company is composed of the same stock, we can not agree very well with the Irish."
    James A. Peifer
    Co. C 46th Penna. Vol. Inf.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    533

    Default Period glasses

    www.focusers.com
    Nice period glasses for $50...
    Keith Pavulak

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