The On-Line Museum and Encyclopedia of Vision Aids.
During most of this period, eyeglass frames were individually handmade and newer models appeared in quick succession. The guidelines below represent the period of common use of these design elements, however they are not all-inclusive. Much remains unanswered so this should only be used as a guide. It is based on personal experience as well as reflecting much of the current literature. Additional ideas and comments are welcomed.
Realize that all pre-1725 spectacles had round frames with a bow or C bridge, no sidearms, and therefore no finials.
(Click on any of the pictures on this page to display a larger image.)
|FEATURES||EXAMPLES||PERIOD OF COMMON USE|
|Round lenses||pre-1725 - 1820|
|Visual glasses (Martin's Margins)||early 1760's - 1820|
|Oval lenses||around 1790 - 1900|
|Four lenses (Richardson)||1815 - 1900 (most found are octagonal 1860s)|
|Rectangular and Oblong lenses||1835 - 1890|
|Octagonal lenses||1835 - 1880|
|"C" bridge||pre 1750 - 1840|
|"K" and "X" bridge||1810? - 1900|
|"Crank" bridge - upside down "U" in the U.S.
"Arch" bridge in the U.K.
|after 1835 - 1880|
|scroll bridge||1870? - 1900|
|"W" bridge (saddle)||1885 - after 1900|
|TEMPLE design (Side arms)|
|Short wide temple with large ring finials (earliest examples had Scarlett spirals)||1720s - 1840? (possibly as early as 1714)|
|Double hinge (Ayscough)||1760 - 1820|
|Turn-pin style (pivot)||1800? - 1900|
|Pin-in-slot (wide-telescopic)||1815 - 1860 (narrowing during this period)|
|Long straight||1850 - 1900|
|Loop slide (narrow telescopic) - in the U.S.
"figure of eight" in the U.K.
|1840 - 1890|
|Curl temples (riding bow)||1885 - after 1900|
|TEMPLE Finials (endings)||There are many variations of temple finials|
|Large rings||1740 - 1810|
|Small rings||1810 - 1830 (only seen on wide telescopic)|
|Teardrop loops||1790 - 1900 (generally grew smaller during this period)|
Amber colored shooter's lenses
Decorated brass temple spectacles with frosted lenses