Focus on Eyeglasses

My latest Flickr album focuses on depictions of eyeglasses in the collections of the Prints & Photographs Division. Many of the images in the group are photographs, but a number of posters and prints appear as well. I added two WPA (Work Projects Administration) posters to the mix. Take a look at some equally worthy WPA posters featuring eyeglasses that weren’t included in the album.

Be kind to books club Are you a member? Poster by Arlington Gregg, between 1936 and 1940. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b48892

What about India? Poster by Maurice Merlin, between 1941 and 1943. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.33812

When I look at the next poster, I see a monocle on the left eye of the cancer quack. Though I suppose it could also be a stylized eye or a physician’s head mirror. What do you think?

Beware the Cancer Quack. Poster by Max Plattner, between 1936 and 1938. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b48897

Finally, let me share one of my favorite WPA posters. As you will see, there are no eyeglasses visible, but the clear implication of the design is that eyeglasses may solve John’s problems:

John is not really dull – he may only need his eyes examined. Unattributed poster, 1936 or 1937. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3f05332

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4 Comments

  1. Lynn Brostoff
    May 19, 2022 at 9:02 am

    Love that album! Thanks for putting in blog. Hope you can do more.

  2. Maria Dmitrieva
    May 19, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Thank you! Very nice collection with images of glasses! I liked “John is not really dull…”, “Benjamin Franklin”, and the page with trade mark – very interesting design.

  3. SharonM.
    May 19, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    It looks like a monocle to me, but that doesn’t really seem right, does it? Or would a 30s doctor wear a monocle? The mirror thing sounds possibly more believable. Your guess is as good as mine!

  4. Cath T
    May 22, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    As a glasses wearer, I appreciate depictions that provide a dignified image and treat them as commonplace accessories for both the average citizen and the famous. Even sophisticated mules ?! I really relate to the poster about John. My eyesight was overlooked by parents and teachers, and I know it affected my schoolwork. I also was too ashamed to wear them once they finally were prescribed. Those first four posters are still relevant today.

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