Scrap book of clippings of newspaper advertisements for the Myer Optical Department and other advertising material in the period May 1933 to November 1947

Catalogue Number: 2879
Scrap book of clippings of newspaper advertisements for the Myer Optical Department and other advertising material in the period May 1933 to November 1947
Category: Papers
Sub-Category: Newspaper, newspaper clipping
Corporation: Myer Emporium Ltd (Myer's) Optical Department
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1933 to 1947
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Melbourne
Description Of Item: Scrap book, home-made, with plain cardboard covers, 307 x 340 mm, 79 brown paper leaves, all bound with three string loops. The back cover is an old merchandising sign reading on the inside: 'A sensible Christmas present - a pair of spectacles - visit our opticians'. It also includes two black and white photographs,197 x 250 mm, slipped in, one of a consulting room and the other of an optical workshop. A third photo is of a consulting room154 x 140 mm. b;ack and white
Historical Significance: This is a record of advertising by Myer's of its optical department in the period 1933 to 1947. It includes a few related clippings of other optometry practices in Melbourne and includes advertising of binoculars, which were commonly sold by optometrists in the 1930s and 1940s, along with barometers. Many of the advertisements boast of the latest equipment and those advertisements carry illustrations of the consulting room equipment. There is a reference in one advertisement to the use of the kratometer and the binocular ophthalmoscope. There are three very good photographs slipped into the scrapbook that illustrate the equipment used in the practice, one of which is used in some of the advertisements. Myer's is a large department store started by Sidney Myer, who migrated from Russia to Melbourne in 1899 with very little money and little knowledge of English to join his elder brother, Elcon Myer (1875-1938), who had left Russia two years earlier. They began in Bendigo and in the 1920s established a large store in the Melbourne CBD that spread across two city blocks. The company later established stores in all Australian states. In 1933 the Optical Department was located on the first floor of the Melbourne store and later moved to the fifth floor and then the sixth floor. The advertisements show that Myer's set out to offer high quality optometric services. This scrapbook contains material that shows William Johns FVOA managed the optical department of Myer's from at least 1933 until February 1937, when he entered private practice in the Manchester Unity Building. He was involved in the early years of the Australian College of Optometry and was its Director of Studies from 1946 until 1950. William Owens FVOA succeeded him as the manager of tMyer's Optical Department. Owens left in September 1946 and was replaced by Fred Bennett FVOA, who had just returned from military service in World War 2. The Myer Optical Department (sometimes called the Optical Section) was renamed the Optometry Department in 1946, although the words 'Optometry Department' are used in an advertisement in April 1941 and the words 'optician and optometrist' are used in some adverisements from 1946. Mark Foy's, a large department store in Sydney, also had an optical department, which was managed by William Kett FBOA from 1909. Kett was an outstanding leader of the optometric profession until his death in 1962. (see his profile on the Kett Optometry Museum website under the tab 'People who made history')
How Acquired: Donated by Graham Sheil, European Eyewear, Melbourne
Date Acquired: June 2016
Condition: Fair
Location: Archive room. West wall. Unit 4 Drawer 2

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