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Jas. Townsend and Son Website Newsletter

18th Century Reproduction Glasses   GL-791
18th Century Reproduction Glasses GL-791

19th Century Repro Frames   GL-790
19th Century Repro Frames GL-790

Deluxe Marbles   MB-74
Deluxe Marbles MB-74

Early 19th Century Glasses   GL-781
Early 19th Century Glasses GL-781

Early 19th Century Glasses WIDE   GL-782
Early 19th Century Glasses WIDE GL-782

1740-1800 Reproduction Glasses Frames  GL-784
1740-1800 Reproduction Glasses Frames GL-784


New Videos

We have a new video that features our marbles that can be seen on the clay marble page.
We have also produced a companion video that explains the different reproduction eye glasses we offer, that can be seen on the GL-791 page. Both of these videos and all the other informative or just funny videos can be seen here on our youtube page.

Reproduction Eye Glasses

Period eye-wear is very important if you are trying to convey a historic look, whether you are a first person interpreter at a historical site, or a soldier at a reenactment, or even an actor on a stage. When a member of the public gets closeup, the first thing they look at is your face, and nothing ruins a perfectly good outfit like a modern pair of glasses.

We offer several styles of eye-wear here at Jas Townsend and Son.

We offer in order of time period:

The 1740-1800 Reproduction Temple Glasses - good for 1730’s to 1820’s

The Late 18th Century Hinged Glasses - good for 1760’s to 1830’s

The Early 19th Century Glasses - good for 1820’s to 1860’s

The later 19th Century Glasses - good for 1860’s to 1920

Also for protecting your eye-wear investment we have our Tin Eyeglasses Case

All of the frames we offer are quite inexpensive when compared to designer frames at your optometrist. They are all made with screws so you may have your prescription installed. In order to save money, some people have even been able to have the lenses removed from their old modern frames and cut down, then installed in our reproduction frames. All of our frames include trial lenses for show and as a pattern for lens makers. They are not reading lenses or safety glass. One thing to remember about 18th-century eyeglasses is that they were not typically worn constantly like most glasses today, but they were used as reading glasses or for close work. They were not designed for comfort.

Let’s look more closely at the Temple frames,
These frames represent the earliest type of eye glasses that had temples (previous to this, all glasses were held up to the eyes with your hand or balanced on the nose.) This style was invented in the early 1700’s, probably around 1725. They became common around 1740 and were still used as late as 1820. We have stretched the bridge on these a little to widen the frames and spread the distance between the pupils. The frames are supposed to fit tight on the sides of the wearers head as the shorted temple pieces are supposed to grip the sides of the face instead of going over the ears as with most other eye glasses. Most of the people who used these frames wore wigs, and the idea behind the short temple pieces was that they would not mess up the person’s wig. If you purchase these reproductions to wear, you will probably need to adjust the frames to fit the side of your face, or tie a string onto the loops to keep them on your head.

The next style frames are for the later parts of the 18th century. The hinged temple pieces, round frames, and the bridge style all date from the 1760’s, but the tear drop ends on these frames are just a little later, 1780’s or later. They are easily adjusted and fairly comfortable. They do have a tendency to float above the bridge of the nose on some folks, but that doesn’t seem to be much of a problem. This style fits a wide time period. They are sturdy and easy to fit with lenses.

narrow style is directly taken from an original pair in our For the early 19th century, we offer frames with sliding temples and rectangular lenses that date to the 1830’s and ’40’s. They should be good for periods up to 1900 depending on the class of person. We offer these in gold-plated finish. The collection.We have a wide version of this style for more modern heads, as we have stretched the eye opening for a more comfortable fit.

The last frames in our line up are our later 19th-century frames. The big differences here are the oval lenses, the scroll type nose bridge, and the cable temples. While most components of this frame are good for the 1850’s and Civil War time frame, the cable temples are a later time period: 1880’s or even 1900. But as most people are not looking behind your ear, these temple pieces seem to work for most people. In fact, these frames are popular even with earlier period reenactors, because they still look much better than any modern frames and are more comfortable to wear. They are the most ergonomic pair we offer with a nose piece that is shaped for comfort.

To compliment any of these reproduction frames, we offer a simple tin case to keep them form being damaged while you are not wearing them. I’ve also personally discovered that this tin case makes my glasses much easier to find.

If you are looking for more information about how to date period eye-wear I would recommend: http://www.antiquespectacles.com/

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