In the nineteenth century this type of eyewear was referred to as eye protectors or railroad glasses. They have four colored lenses and were worn to help protect weak eyes from bright light, dust, and the wind when out riding or driving. They have steel frames with double lenses (sometimes referred to as Double-D lenses) and are tinted different shades of blue and blue-green. Lenses could be found in shades of blue, green, amber, and gray. The bows are sliding extension temples terminating in a teardrop-shaped fenestration. This pair of eyeglasses date from about 1850.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1850
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
glass (overall material)
extended: 2.9 cm x 15 cm x 14.5 cm; 1 1/8 in x 5 7/8 in x 5 11/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Health & Medicine
Clothing & Accessories
Health & Medicine
Artifact Walls exhibit
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Robert S. Moody

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