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Bradley Collection Gallery
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Eyeglasses, Spectacles
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Title: Eyeglasses, Spectacles
Identifier: A.7.67 a
Donor: Miss Mary Fitzgibbon
Item Date: 1840-1860
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: A pair of glasses with silver wire rims and clear glass lenses. They have straight ear pieces. Connecting the two lenses are two curved wires.

The glasses and case are from Buffalo, New York.

Far-sighted or aging colonial Americans imported spectacles from Europe. Spectacles were mainly for those wealthy and literate colonists who required a valuable and treasured appliance. Glasses cost as much as $200 in the 1700s.

Benjamin Franklin developed the bifocal in the 1780s. See "History of Eye Glasses" at
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   Museums of Mississauga Home Page
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)
   Virtual Museum of Canada