Optical Treasures

MISSING, MISTAKEN, ABUSED, and those “Wildly Imaginative” CLAIMS

We all have made errors and advanced collectors have noted mistakes in just about every resource describing antique vision aids. It would be naive for anyone to assume that every single optical object at every single institution is correctly dated and correctly described. This same statement would refer to publications and even websites, including this one. We can therefore suggest that nearly anything brought before the public eye can be and should be placed under some scrutiny.

The small group of pages presented here is the result of many hours of research by numerous collectors and quite a few curators too who are involved in the serious work of building this online encyclopedia. Our work will hopefully prove beneficial and instructive to those who visit this website. We believe that the pages below are very important and are actually expected as a result of all of our past and current research work. In fact the subtopics presented below should be a part of a website like this. The material presented may help us all towards a deeper understanding. The examples on these five pages are part of this larger website which will itself always remain a “work in progress”. One of the major reasons it was created was to stimulate further research and dialogue. As new evidence appears the statements below can always be revised and updated.

Hopefully no one reading this will have their personal feelings hurt because every comment below is meant only to be constructive. This is not slander or libel. Instead its purpose is to initiate the type of dialogue that “raises the bar” regarding what is presented to the general public. All of the institutions mentioned below have kindly agreed to allow the images to be displayed because this is an educational exercise for everyone.


The comments concerning the objects on these pages are mostly my opinion based on the experience gained from researching the wide range of available materials for this website. In most cases other knowledgeable researchers support these views. I will always welcome keen observations from other experienced individuals. It is certainly possible that some (though hopefully very few) statements on this website are incorrect. If so it would be my responsibility to make necessary adjustments to what is posted. Please write in, point out errors to me, and I will make any corrections.

Remember human knowledge builds from one discovery (or correction) to the next.

David A Fleishman, MD.



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