Catalogue Number: 2801
Compact trial lens set for travelling optician
Sub-Category: Trial lens case
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c 1900
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Description Of Item: Compact trial lens set in small oblong wooden case, 260 mm L x 120 mm W x 50 mm D, covered with black leatherette and lined internally with violet coloured velvet, containing 13 pairs of concave spherical lenses to - 8.00 D sph and 13 pairs of convex spherical lenses to + 8.00 D sph, and 8 pairs of concave cylindrical lenses to -3.00 D cyl and 8 pairs of convex cylindrical lenses also to +3.00 D cyl. There are empty slots in all of these pairs of lenses of 0.12 D power and four other lenses are missing. There are four slots for auxiliary lenses of which only one is filled with a red plano lens.
Historical Significance: The size of the trial lens set case suggests that it was designed for the travelling optician or for visiting patients in their home or hospital. The inclusion of cylindrical lenses suggest the set dates after 1880 and the limited range of powers of both spheres and cylinders indicates the user was prepared to risk encountering patients with high refractive errors.
Condition: Poor. The case is very dilapidated.
Location: Archive room. West wall. Unit 5 Drawer 4