Catalogue Number: 2864
Model 374 Martin Wells spectacle frame glazed with glass lenses with slip-in case
Category: Spectacles and lenses
Sub-Category: Spectacles with case
Corporation: MARTIN WELLS PTY LTD
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1977
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Australia
Publisher/Manufacturer: Martin Wells Pty Ltd
Description Of Item: Men's metal spectacle frame, 135 x 40 mm, made in Australia by Martin Wells Pty Ltd in antique gold colour with pad bridge and black plastic tipped hockey sides. It is glazed with glass lenses R -3.50/-0.25 x 165 L -3.25 D Sph. The left side is engraved ' FRAME AUSTRALIA'; the right side is engraved ' 135 (side length) MARTIN WELLS 374 (Model name) '. Affixed to the left side is dymotape label with the name of the original owner 'COLIN BATES'. The back of the bridge is stamped 50/22 (frame size). The spectacles are contained in a red-brown plastic slip-in spectacle case, 145 x 65 mm, gold stamped on the front ' HENRY B HORSFALL LOSc / OPTOMETRIST /ECHUCA '
Historical Significance: Martin Wells was an Australian spectacle frame manufacturer founded by business man Sidney Sinclair OBE AM (1915-1999), optometrist Eric Hurst and Dino Zigarelli, a spectacle frame expert. Martin Wells produced a range of spectacle frames in the 1950s that were highly popular in Australia and ushered in a new era of fashion into spectacles in Australia. In the early 1950s the most common styles were flesh and demi-amber plastic frames with full-vue lens shape and plastic hockey sides; steel frames covered with imitation tortoise shell and curl sides, and rimless glasses. They were not fashion items. Martin Wells was the first Australian frame manufacturer to produce fashion frames. Henry (Hank) Horsfall was one of the first optometrists to complete the then relatively new four-year optometry course offered by the Australian College of Optometry from 1940 for the diploma of Licentiate of Optometric Science (LOSc). The diploma was first awarded in 1944. Horsfall graduated in 1953 with certificate No. 42. He practised in Eucha, Victoria.
How Acquired: Donated by Colin Bates, honorary archivist
Date Acquired: May 2016
Condition: Very good
Location: Archive Office. Spectacles cabinet Drawer 17