|Description: Metal-framed eyeglasses, armless. Copper-coloured, oval frames with spherical nubs at lower outer edges. Proper right sphere has hoop of silvery coloured metal. Inner surfaces of nose pads have hatch marks: three rows of tiny circles. The lenses are clear glass and nearly flat. On the outer surface of the proper right nose pad is "Conso.10K". |
The first eyeglasses were made in Italy at about 1286. These early spectacles had convex lenses that could correct both hyperopia (farsightedness), and the presbyopia that commonly develops as a symptom of aging. Benjamin Franklin, who suffered from both myopia and presbyopia, invented bifocals. The first lenses for correcting astigmatism were constructed by the British astronomer George Airy in 1825. Over time, the construction of spectacle frames also evolved. Early eyepieces were designed to be either held in place by hand or by exerting pressure on the nose (pince-nez). The modern style of glasses, held by temples passing over the ears, was developed some time before 1727. These designs were not immediately successful, however, and various styles with attached handles such as "scissors-glasses" and lorgnettes were also fashionable from the second half of the 18th century and into the early 19th century. In the early 20th century, Moritz von Rohr at Zeiss (with the assistance of H. Boegehold and A. Sonnefeld), developed the Zeiss Punktal spherical point-focus lenses that dominated the eyeglass lens field for many years. Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasses
These glasses belonged to Naomi Harris (1883-1968). Naomi was born to Arthur and Mary Harris (née Magrath), of Benares. Naomi and her older sister Annie were raised in an atmosphere of upper middle class comfort. They were educated at home by governesses, and then were sent to Miss Dupont's School for Ladies in Toronto, where they stayed with their aunts throughout the week. Naomi never married and lived at Benares her whole life. She helped to take care of her mother, and continued to live alone in the house for 14 years after Mary’s death in 1954. Naomi was a life long member of St Peter's Anglican Church in Erindale, where she was an integral part of the church's many activities. Archdeacon Banks, the former rector of St. Peter's, spoke of Miss Harris' deep attachment to St. Peter's, her love of people, her unfailing interest in the children of the Sunday School and her work with the women's auxiliary during her funeral service in May, 1968. Naomi willed Benares to her two nieces and nephew who donated the estate and most of its contents to The Ontario Heritage Foundation. Ownership was later transferred to the City of Mississauga who have operated Benares as a museum since 1995.