Opera Glasses

Each eyecup of this small instrument is marked “LEMAIRE FABT * PARIS .” The objective lenses are 30 mm diameter and the optics are good. The frame is a gilt metal. The barrels, eyecups and center focusing wheel are covered with mother of pearl. An image of a bee, the Lemaire logo, appears on the central brace; if there was once a number there, it is not now visible. The red leather carrying case is probably not original.
Jacques Lemaire began making opera glasses in 1847 and was soon a major manufacturer noted for using mechanization, division of labor and interchangeable parts. M.J.B. Baille joined the firm in 1871 and took charge of it in 1885.
Ref: Nicholas Gilman, A Dividend to Labor: A Study of Employers’ Welfare Institutions (Boston and New York, 1899), pp. 297–304.
Currently not on view
Object Name
opera glasses
date made
closed: 1 1/2 in x 3 15/16 in x 2 1/4 in; 3.81 cm x 10.0076 cm x 5.715 cm
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Jane and Mary Henle

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