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Original pair of Revolutionary War Spectacles with case, ca. 1760


Product Description

This is another rare piece being offered, it is an original pair of Revolutionary War spectacles (eyeglasses), circa 1760. They come in the original lacquered wood case which has an inscription that appears to be “Stone”.

At the time of the American Revolution nearly all eyeglasses in the Colonies came from England and Europe. The earlier standard lens shape at that time was round. However, as the war began, oval lenses had been introduced. The American Major-General Israel Putnam made a point of wearing the new oval lenses so that his spectacles “did not look as those of my enemy.”

His glasses are now owned by the New York Historical Society. Other colonists did the same including Benjamin Franklin. Franklin marked his glasses “B. Franklin 1773.” In the book, “Collector’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution” by George C. Neumann and Frank J. Kravic, show examples of these spectacles (see pictures).

During the Revolutionary War, although most soldiers were young men, there were still many who needed glasses, especially when reading with the lack of light in camps. There is a pair of these spectacles in the Fort Ticonderoga Revolutionary War Museum (see pictures). This pair is in very nice condition and rare with the original case. They would be ideal to display alongside a letter or with a soldier’s personal effects.

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$5.50 (Fixed shipping cost)