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The Victorian perspective on spectacles

When spectacles began to proliferate in the 19th century, some commentators were alarmed. “WHY do we see so many children wearing glasses now-a-days, when it was not the case 20 years ago?” demanded Bow Bells Magazine in 1892. Gemma Almond’s research reveals how the Victorians came to embrace eyewear.

Words by Gemma Almond

  • In pictures

About the author

A black and white head-and-shoulders photograph of a young white woman with long fair hair and square framed glasses. She is looking straight at the camera and smiling.

Gemma Almond

Dr Gemma Almond studied for a PhD on spectacles and vision correction in 19th-century Britain at Swansea University and the Science Museum, London. She won a bronze medal at the European Championships in 2011, and she was in two finals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.