Catalogue Number: 49
Our eyes and how to protect them from infancy to old age, with special information about spectacles
Sub-Category: Significant book (Aitken collection)
Author: BROWNING, John
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1889
Edition: 7th (Revised)
Time Period: 19th C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: London
Publisher/Manufacturer: Chatto and Windus
Description Of Item: The book is hardcover 183 x 123 mm and has 128 pages. It has 70 illustrations many of them of different kinds of spectacles. The last 10 pages are advertisements for John Brownings' spectacles and optical instruments. The book covers refractive errors and presbyopia, methods of testing sight, spectacles for various occupations, care of the eyes and even colour blindness. The Preface to the Third edition, re-printed in this book, dates that edition as 1884 and says that the first edition sold in three weeks.
Historical Significance: John Browning is described on the title page as FRAS (Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society) and FRMS (Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society?) and optician to her Majesty's government, the Royal Society and a number of observatories including the observatory at Melbourne. He had shops in the Strand, London and in Kensington. The one in the Strand was at No 63. An advertisment published in 1891 describes Browning as an ophthalmic optician and states he may be consulted personally at that address, 'free of charge, respecting spectacles for all forms of defective vision between the hours of ten and four daily, except on Saturday, when his hours will be ten to twelve' The advertisment refers to this book.
How Acquired: Donated by Michael Aitken,honorary archivist
Date Acquired: 1989
Condition: Good, cloth fading
Location: Nathan Library. Aitken collection