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Pappy1963
02-10-2004, 01:54 PM
I do not know if this is the correct forum, but I am new too reenacting and all I have left to buy is a pair of period eyeglasses. Can anyone help me out and tell me where to go to find them.

Thanks

Gregory, welcome to the forum. Please review the rules for posting on the forum. One of the rules is that all posts must be signed with the poster's full name. - Mike Chapman

crneilsen
02-10-2004, 02:09 PM
I would go to your local antique store and try to find small, oval, wire frames with straight earpieces. You will get them for less at a junk store or antique store. You can then get lenses for them.

CR Neilsen

dusty27
02-10-2004, 02:09 PM
One possible source might be;

Re-enactment Eyewear
RR #4 Box 62
Williamsport, PA 17701
717-322-9849



Good luck

Pvt Schnapps
02-10-2004, 03:44 PM
I've had good luck with these fellows:

http://www.eyeglasseswarehouse.com/rare-eyeglasses.html

In response to an e-mail they sent photos of exactly what they had in stock. They also offer cases. The reading glasses I ordered cost $42 and when I put them on I found their magnification equal to the 1.25 power drug-store specials I use at work, so I didn't even have to get new lenses. Yet.

Spinster
02-10-2004, 05:16 PM
I used Reenactment Eyewear, listed above. As my prescription is an unusual one, and my face very wide, I had to go with his reproduction frames as there were no period frames in stock that would fit.

I'm very happy with the quality of the lenses (and I am VERY hard to fit in lenses), but on a couple of occassions folks have questioned the accuracy of the reproduction frames, due to the fact that the temples wrap around the ears. Upon further reading, I agree that such a treatment is questionable and was not common during the CW period, but note that I had been looking for a proper pair for more than a decade, and that the frames passed for a juried 18th century site.

Johan Steele
02-10-2004, 06:13 PM
www.jastown.com/acces/acces.htm
www.metiques.com/catalog/glasses.html

Either site has a good selection, I got lucky the day before I decided to order a pair I found two sets of appropriate glasses for less than $20 in a antique store, all together I spent just $65 on lenses & frames. And I have a spare set in case I breakm one.

An important thing to look at when you are in an antique shop though is what is holding in the lenses, if it's a screw you're fine. If it is a lead solder plug you are out of luck as modern eyeglass people apparently can't remove the pulg w/out damaging the frames. Something about the heat required to melt the solder damages the frames. Of coarse they just may not want to mess w/ desoldering anything too.

Good Luck.

acwillen
02-10-2004, 10:41 PM
I do not know if this is the correct forum, but I am new too reenacting and all I have left to buy is a pair of period eyeglasses. Can anyone help me out and tell me where to go to find them.

Thanks


Gregory;

Just in case it hasn't been suggested to you before, there are two other options I believe you should consider before buying glasses.

1) You could get a pair of contact lenses. Ask your optician about lenses you can "put in on Friday and take out on Monday". I use Acuvue2 lenses, but there are several brands and some fit different people better than others..

2) If your eyes aren't too bad, you could try going without any correction at all, see the world from the point of view of the original boys.

I could be wrong (and if I am I'm sure SOMEONE here will correct me :) but I've always gotten the impression from the images I've seen that actual eyeglasses were very uncommon for the rank and file. And the spectacles that were around were mainly reading glasses, not worn all day.

Scott
02-10-2004, 10:47 PM
Another option is lasik eye surgery....I had it done about three years ago and I must say that it was one of the absolute best things that I have ever done in my life.... although maybe lasik is a bit much just for a hobby but it seems to work out really nice in modern day life as well :D

Scott Davolt

Thanks

JimKindred
02-10-2004, 11:17 PM
One caution on lasik eye surgery. Should the individual be young enough to be considering a career in military aviation this surgery could disqualify you. The Army will accept commissioned pilots with vision correctable to 20/20 with glasses. The surgery will eliminate you from consideration. How the Air Force or the Navy treats this subject I do not know.

If you are interested in civil aviation I would check with an FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) regarding this before the surgery.

Once the surgery is done there is no turning back.

I realize that my above post is off topic but since the surgery was mentioned I thought this caution acceptable. If not please remove it.

hireddutchcutthroat
02-10-2004, 11:57 PM
One caution on lasik eye surgery. Should the individual be young enough to be considering a career in military aviation this surgery could disqualify you. The Army will accept commissioned pilots with vision correctable to 20/20 with glasses. The surgery will eliminate you from consideration. How the Air Force or the Navy treats this subject I do not know.

If you are interested in civil aviation I would check with an FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) regarding this before the surgery.

Once the surgery is done there is no turning back.

I realize that my above post is off topic but since the surgery was mentioned I thought this caution acceptable. If not please remove it.

Jim

A recruiter recently told me that; the military is now excepting people one year after lazer surgery for non flight mosīs. As until recently they were not excepting corrective surgery at all.

JimKindred
02-11-2004, 12:05 AM
Thanks. I would still check before having it done. Rules change all the time and all services have different requirements. I was writing strictly about flying MOS's.

One thing about recruiters, they are the first person who will lie to you in your military career. :wink_smil Or as they like to say "I didn't lie to you, the truth changed."

Clark Badgett
02-11-2004, 04:14 AM
I will chime in here regarding the lack of photographic evidence of eyeglasses. 100 years from now my decendants will be arguing that I didn't wear glasses, when in fact I've worn them most of my life. I never wear them in posed photos, and was forbidden from wearing them in my military photos back when I had them.

Pappy1963
03-16-2004, 06:41 AM
Friends:

Does anyone know a good supplier of period eyeglasses?



Thank-you
Gregory Papierz
1st Michigan Infantry

BHoover
03-16-2004, 08:16 AM
Does anyone know a good supplier of period eyeglasses?

If you make a habit of looking in cases at antique malls or flea markets, it's possible to pick up a set of period frames very cheaply. You should always try them on to make sure they fit, and also try to find a pair that has screws to hold in the lenses, rather than rivets.

Given some patience it's possible to find frames from $5 - $10. Then you can have lenses with your prescription put in the frames. Most large chain stores won't do it, but if you can find a small independent optician it's much more likely they will be interested. I have had lenses made for as little as $40. In fact, that particular set required some kind of die that the optician didn't have, but he was so interested in the project that he bought the equipment just to have it.

There are people who specialize in period eyewear, but it will cost a lot more to go that route.

ephraim_zook
03-16-2004, 08:21 AM
Greg,

One option springs immediately to mind -- Don Griffin's Reenactment Eyewear in Williamsport, PA. He sets up shop at many events, too. I'd look around for period frames in antique shops, flea markets, ebay, then have Don make your prescription to fit. Someone gave me frames. I left them with Don, who made the lenses for me and mailed them back. Didn't cost a whole lot.

I guess you'd find other optometrists who would do the same thing for you, if they don't try to get you to part with your frames first. Look to individual practitioners. I don't think you'll have much luck with the big chains like Pearle Vision.

http://www.reenactmenteyewear.com/home/

Ron Myzie

Gallo de Cielo
03-16-2004, 08:58 AM
I've had luck with Ed Welch. He has an extensive selection, prices are reasonable, and he shipped mighty quick.

When I was making my selection, he sent me dozens of sets of digitial images of sizes and styles to pick from.

Just my two cents.

Fred Baker

jimmip
09-03-2004, 04:19 PM
I contacted Reenactment Eyewear aroung the beginning of July, asking for a price and timeframe on glasses. I was told about 2 weeks. I figured just in case of extra orders, events etc. When I hadn't recieved them by the end of July, I emailed them inquiring about my order. I recieved a response around July 27th saying they should go out that weekend. Still nothing. I figured with the mail it may take a little longer. I then emailed again asking how they send the orders and was to by priority mail. When I still didn't get them, I emailed once again, around Aug. 16th and was told they went out that day. I still have not recieved them. Since then I have tried emailing and calling them and have not recieved any response. I was wondering if anyone has tried to get in contact with them recently? I hope nothing has happened to Don. Thanks for any help.

Jim Pribula
















Greg,

One option springs immediately to mind -- Don Griffin's Reenactment Eyewear in Williamsport, PA. He sets up shop at many events, too. I'd look around for period frames in antique shops, flea markets, ebay, then have Don make your prescription to fit. Someone gave me frames. I left them with Don, who made the lenses for me and mailed them back. Didn't cost a whole lot.

I guess you'd find other optometrists who would do the same thing for you, if they don't try to get you to part with your frames first. Look to individual practitioners. I don't think you'll have much luck with the big chains like Pearle Vision.

http://www.reenactmenteyewear.com/home/

Ron Myzie

ElizabethClark
09-03-2004, 05:37 PM
Another option, if you're not legally blind and can't walk without glasses, is to try a few events without eye correction.

I can't see folks clearly past about 10 feet, but it doesn't hinder me in historic settings to go without spectacles. And, since I usually forget mine, this is what I normally end up doing. The key is to stop trying to focus on everything, and let it be blurry.

It won't work for everyone, but it is a period-appropriate option. There's not much need for vision correction just to see the hind end of the mule and plow.

Canton Zouave
09-03-2004, 09:00 PM
In my pre-eye surgery days I had a nice pair of specs.

I went through the assorted antique malls until I found a nice suitable period pair of glasses that showed "no" signs of previous repairs.

The case the glasses came in were even marked by the original maker.

I then took my known prescription for my glasses and had a local eye glass shop (Actually a local Grocery store with an opitcal center) cut them to specs using the original lenses as a template. They were great until I didnt need them anymore.

total price:

Gold Frame Glasses: $30.00
New Lenses: $31.00

Worked for me. :D

Charlie
09-03-2004, 10:19 PM
I found a pair of period frames for twenty dollars. I gave them to a friend of mine who is an Optometrist and he put my prescription lenses in them, but also sent them out and had them re-finished (they were a mess) and now they look like they would have had I bought them in 1861 (or there abouts). In fact I wear them a good portion of the time out of the hobby.
Just my two cents.

48Sarge
09-04-2004, 07:51 AM
I took the plunge one day and found a nice pair of brass frames for forty dollars. I then spent thirty five for lenses and have had no problem and lots of luck with them!

Csayankee
09-04-2004, 03:07 PM
I will added this to the topic, that no one as mentioned. I have found all three of my period frames on ebay. At a lower price then any repo I could find. Plus they were in great condition. I still use them from time to time, if I don't want to wear my contacts. I due know that sometimes its hard to change that lens if it is a pin style. But all three of mine were put together with screws. I got my len's changed at wal=mart. But not sure yours will do it, the gentleman that did mine collected antique eye wear. Well just my little though about them.

jimmip
09-04-2004, 05:19 PM
Just wanted to update everyone. I recieved my eyeglasses today. I'm very happy with them.

Jim Pribula




I contacted Reenactment Eyewear aroung the beginning of July, asking for a price and timeframe on glasses. I was told about 2 weeks. I figured just in case of extra orders, events etc. When I hadn't recieved them by the end of July, I emailed them inquiring about my order. I recieved a response around July 27th saying they should go out that weekend. Still nothing. I figured with the mail it may take a little longer. I then emailed again asking how they send the orders and was to by priority mail. When I still didn't get them, I emailed once again, around Aug. 16th and was told they went out that day. I still have not recieved them. Since then I have tried emailing and calling them and have not recieved any response. I was wondering if anyone has tried to get in contact with them recently? I hope nothing has happened to Don. Thanks for any help.

Jim Pribula

Curt Schmidt
09-04-2004, 06:25 PM
Hallo Kameraden!

Just a caveat to be an informed and educated consumer here when it comes to WHAT are period glasses/spectacles/eye wear.

Although I do not wear, or have to wear, vision correcting devices of any kind.. I often see old and antique and wire frames/wire rim type glasses being sold by some vendors as "Period" when their period is actually more 1920ish through 1940ish.

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt

Minieball577
09-04-2004, 06:28 PM
Curt brings up my exact concern. I wear glasses, and would like a period correct pair, at some point. But everytime I get tempted to buy a pair, I decide not to because of my ignorance on what is and what is not period correct in eyeware.

Is there a guide (simple article etc) put together somewhere that can aid in this lack of knowledge?

20thMainerCampaigner
09-04-2004, 07:34 PM
I would recommend reenactment eyewear to anyone. Someone I know ordered a pair, he cut the bifocals and put them in. They were done in around two weeks. He wears them at every event, and they are great. Don Griffin is a really guy and is more than willing to help.

I hope this helps,
Court Micker

Canton Zouave
09-04-2004, 11:57 PM
In keeping with what Curt said about identifying period correct styles of 19th Century eyewear, check some of the assorted references.

Lord's Encyclopedia does have a couple of pairs in the assorted volumes.

I also did a search under:
" 19th Century Eyewear"
"19th Century Spectacles"

Several sites came up, especially under Medical antiques, that featured many styles of glasses from both the 18th & 19th Century. Many of those sites, however, did not appear on the first page, and you will have to scroll through some worthless sites.

Also, speak with your opthamologist. He may be a collector himself, or know of some local sources that may hold some intersting specimens. Mine was a collector, and even used some very vintage tools, lense sets, etc. in his practice. Thank God my MD doesnt :D

It's a start.

tomarch
09-05-2004, 01:28 AM
Belive it or not, there's an optician out here in Montecito that handles a 'modern' line of frames from a Germen manufacturer that are period correct.. The only kicker? They come in Platnium or Gold and start at $ 800.00 per set. but hey, tract homes out here go for $750,000.00 :eek:

mcn2de
12-27-2006, 09:15 PM
I have to have lenses changed in some period frames. Any recomendations on who does the best work and the best price.

Mike Nichols

[

Hoosier Yank
12-30-2006, 09:19 AM
Your answer can be found in the Yellow Pages. Any optometrist in your home town can do this.

mcn2de
12-30-2006, 01:51 PM
Not always so when it comes to the lenses in the frames for reenacting. There are a couple of people who specilize in reenacting frames and lenses and I was looking for who has had experience with these vendors.

Mike Nichols

unionprivate
12-30-2006, 02:02 PM
Picked up original frames probably 3 or 4 years ago on ebay. Went to my eye doctor, they pulled out the old lenses and put in my scripts. Works dandy, and original too.

HighPrvt
12-30-2006, 06:42 PM
Picked up original frames probably 3 or 4 years ago on ebay. Went to my eye doctor, they pulled out the old lenses and put in my scripts. Works dandy, and original too.I second this. I bought my frames off of Ebay, and had a local optometrist fit lenses.

Hoosier Yank
12-31-2006, 07:33 AM
Not always so when it comes to the lenses in the frames for reenacting. There are a couple of people who specilize in reenacting frames and lenses and I was looking for who has had experience with these vendors.

Mike Nichols


Maybe I missunderstood your first question which was...


Any recomendations on who does the best work and the best price.Mike Nichols


I'ma guessin that iz just a dumb ol rube Hoosier.

You're on your own now!

dclarry
12-31-2006, 04:59 PM
Not always so when it comes to the lenses in the frames for reenacting. There are a couple of people who specilize in reenacting frames and lenses and I was looking for who has had experience with these vendors.

Mike Nichols

I have purchased prescription period glasses from The Grand Spectacle in Elmira, New York. Excellent service and excellent quality frames.

Website is: http://www.thegrandspectacle.com/

Hope this helps,

Lawrence

ElizabethClark
02-27-2007, 01:28 PM
I'm reviving this older thread, because I've just wrecked my historic glasses (with assistance from a toddler who likes "helping"), and I have to have vision this year for events. I'm a little tired of squinting and keeping a vague pleasant look on my face to avoid snubbing people. Of course, all this depends on actually remembering to pack them--using the search function, I found several threads from 2004, and know that I've not changed a lot. :)

I'm looking specifically for a good repro, versus an antique or reconditioned original--mostly because of said toddler. Selling her to the gypsies and enjoying original/refurbished frames isn't an option for me, I'm afraid.

Options I'm looking at are these from Focusers:
http://www.focusers.com/mcallister.html

The shape looks good, and the bridge and temples look to be consistent with what I'm seeing in pictures of originals. My issue with these is the bright steel color--from what I'm reading, most originals seem to be either brass/gold-plate or blued steel.

Something rectangular from The Grand Spectacle (I need something that will work for impressions roughly 1840-1860.)--I've sent off a question about those.

I couldn't find a current website for Ed Welch. Is that still a valid source?

These from Townsend seem a bit heavy looking compared to originals of the mid-19th century:
http://jas-townsend.com/product_info.php?cPath=46&products_id=760

I'm looking for opinions on which option for repros most closely matches what I'm seeing in originals for the 1840-1860 span.

Richmond Depot
02-27-2007, 01:39 PM
While I don't know if he is still active in Optometry, Lynn Bull in Goldsboro NC can or could put a set together for you. I know that he is teaching at the college in Goldsboro. He uses original frames and maintained a good supply or you can probably provide your own. While I usually see him at almost every event, I don't have a point of contact for him. Maybe someone else on the board does. A great guy, one of my mentors from the early days of the darkside of reenacting.

Spinster
02-27-2007, 03:11 PM
Elizabeth, I have an 18th century version of the style you are looking at on the Townsend site.

Mine are taken after a pair in the Mount Vernon collection, with double oval lenses, the secondary dark pair of lenses swiveling to the side as needed. Several folks in the Winston Free-State snapped these up in the single lense version, either in a reading glass prescription or had their own put in. They are sturdy glasses and withstand a great deal of use and abuse.

You are correct in your assessment though--even without the secondary lenses, these frames are heavy, especially with a glass lense in place--something that you may or may not be able to persuade someone to do. In my case, mine were ground by my retired M. D. and eye surgeon, because he had a collection of such things himself.

They are also too small for a bifocal--thus I have one short lense and one long lense, which means I tend to fuss with them a good bit, and had to tie them on my head with a silk ribbon due to the weight.

If you put a modern lightweight lense into them you may very well have a set of eyeglasses that will stay on your face and still withstand the onslaught of toddler hands :D

Rob
02-27-2007, 03:12 PM
Options I'm looking at are these from Focusers:
http://www.focusers.com/mcallister.html


I bought a pair of McAllisters last year. The workmanship was "fair" at best - the eyewires and the bridge were somewhat misaligned. Unfortunately, I did not notice this at first.

You are right about the brightness of the steel - it's as shiny as stainless. I may try some cold-bluing to see if I can mellow them down a bit.

You may have better luck, but let the optician give them a good looking over first.

ElizabethClark
02-27-2007, 03:26 PM
Rob, that's what I was worried about--the brightness issue. The additional notes on the misalignment helps, too. Thanks.

Terre, thanks for the notes on the Townsend frames. Strong is good. She's a very lovely little thing. :) I'm blind, but single-vision, which helps; I generally have to go with polycarbonate lenses to prevent them listing starboard all day, as one lens is twice as thick as the other thick lens.

I think I need to head for the library this afternoon and find more books with images of glasses. I want to pinpoint if the heavy-ish Townsend style is really going to work as late as 1840-50.

Rob
02-27-2007, 04:55 PM
A note on glass lenses--

(This may not apply to civilians as much as it does to a military portrayal.)

When I was sixteen, I spent one of the longest hours in my life sitting stock-still in a chair while an eye surgeon picked tiny shards of glass out of my left eye. A stupid, totally avoidable accident had shattered the lens on that side. Half a millimeter was about all that separated me from blindness. From that point on, it was plastic all the way.

So here I am, nearly forty years later, playing with firearms and black powder, mere inches from my face. Sorry, no glass for me, thank you. It's just not worth the possible cost.

Rob
02-27-2007, 05:41 PM
I bought the round one they suggested as CW period for my husband who is blind without his glasses, but very hard on them. They have the arms that sort of wrap behind the ears.

Just so you know, these were called "riding temples" when they were first introduced, around 1885.

Spinster
02-27-2007, 06:16 PM
I think I need to head for the library this afternoon and find more books with images of glasses. I want to pinpoint if the heavy-ish Townsend style is really going to work as late as 1840-50.

Hmmmm---likely not, especially on a woman of your younger age. Townsend is rather 'loose' in their definitions of proper dates for things. You'll not pass for a fashion queen, or even a prosperous Mormon farmer's wife in those.

Even on me, older, rural, eccentric, lower class,---passing the old style off as Papa's spectacles will only go so far--I was greatful beyound words when Mr. Morgan came in with a pair of mid century frames that fit my broad face, and has a prescription in them that closely approximated my distance lense. While they are too fine for me to work in, I can at least scrub up well.

ElizabethClark
02-27-2007, 06:23 PM
Yep, that's my worry on the dates. They're not *bad*--just not perhaps as "light" as the images of originals for the roughly 1835-1860 range (backdating a bit, as I've been in specs since I was practically a baby, and want to do some 40s stuff in the future). It's 4:20p, and we've not made it to the library yet, so I think I'll plan on a sans children adventure after dinner.

So far, this is what I've got:

Focusers: nice shape for 50s/60s, too fashion forward for 40s into the 50s, wrong color, possible issues with structural soundness.

Reenactment Eyewear: possibly no longer available

Grande Spectacle: waiting on information, so that's up in the air but possible.

Townsend: potentially too early to be really useful for mid-century, but might work for my earliest era stuff (1840) if I work on getting some wrinkles at some point.

Are there any other repro eyewear makers out there right now, or do I need to bite the bullet and start looking at strong originals (eep.)?

Rob
02-28-2007, 04:56 AM
Focusers: nice shape for 50s/60s, too fashion forward for 40s into the 50s, wrong color, possible issues with structural soundness.

Actually, they are structurally sound - I bent the bejeezus out of them with two pairs of needlenose pliers to line up the eyewires, and they didn't come apart.

I could have returned them, but I was in too much of a rush... I needed them the following week.

Also tried some Birchwood Casey "Perma Blue" on the frames - a waste of time. They're still as shiny as ever.

Edwin Carl Erwin
04-01-2007, 10:55 PM
Regarding Master Optician, Gregg Crockett's Spectacle Accoutrements for period prescription specs: http://ivydiv_mp.tripod.com/spectacleaccoutrements/.
What's your experience regarding his workmanship, price, delivery time, & guarantee?

Thanks for your time & consideration in answering.

Regards,

Harvard Yankee
04-12-2007, 09:45 PM
I recently purchased a nice pair of antique spectacles from Eyeglasseswarehouse.com. The folks there really know their stuff and were very helpful. Their business & hobby is to collect, buy, and sell antique eyeglasses & accessories. My pair of steel frames, in very good condition, went for $65.

If you go with an antique pair, instead of repro, then you need to be aware of the big differences between modern & old glasses. The two big differences are the lenses & frames.

Old style lenses were thin, flat and made of glass. Today, lenses are curved & made from high tech plastics. During the mid-1800's, frames were much lighter, thinner, and made from straight lenses. It takes a little extra skill & care to make modern lenses that fit old frames. Also, many frames of the period do not have screws to remove the lenses. The frames are welded or soldered & the lenses are non-removable without cutting the frames. Obviously it is much better to get frames with screws.

As far as having the lenses made, I suggest finding a local optician who has been in business for a number of years and who has a lab on site. Many large chains will not go near antique eyeglasses.

My lenses cost $85.00 - I'm very near-sighted and got the best, thinnest lenses I could buy.

I love my "new" spectacles. They are actually more comfortable than my modern pair.

Pvt. Charles Lustenberger
20th Mass, Co. D
The Harvard Regiment

MuddyWaterMess
07-05-2007, 10:12 AM
Howdy, thanks to my father i have eyes like a mole and without the specs i cant see anything. I was curious where i could get some period glasses. Either repos or originals. Any information will help. THANKS

BEN JENKINS

NoahBriggs
07-11-2007, 10:19 AM
I picked up a pair of originals for $45 at an antique store in my old hometown. I do not need specs - yet. Once my eyesight deteriorates to the point I need glasses then I am going to get the origianl lenses replaced with my prescription, or however it works.

For now, though, they are good for close-up reading glasses - like reading fine print on patent medicine labels. Anything out past two feet becomes a blur, like someone smeared butter on the lenses.

CRRC 2 has a good article on what to look for in correct glasses. Pay attention in antique stores; on occasion you could strike lucky as I did.

Johnny Lloyd
07-11-2007, 12:32 PM
Hello-

Just throwing this one out there, but wrap-around the ear eye wear -wasn't- period? I have a pair of straight, extendable glasses with teardrop ends (about 1840-1850s) that I use, but I also have an antique pair of wrap-around the ear eye wear too. Don't use these anyway...
From my brief readings on this subject, eye wear was just as expensive (if not more expensive) for people back then to afford as it is today. Watches were in this category too. So I reckon it wasn't a matter of if you had to wear glasses all day or not, just if you could afford to do so.

Cool topic- Johnny

Rob
07-11-2007, 02:21 PM
The wrap-around earpieces, originally called riding temples, were introduced in 1885.