GORGEOUS IN GREEN
Emerald green may be Pantone’s 2013 color of the year but this lush hue showed up in eyeglasses dating back to 1561 when an English advertisement promoted spectacles made of green glass. The purpose of these colored spectacles was to soothe the eyes in addition to improving eyesight. Samuel Pepys, an English naval administrator, wrote in his famous personal diary that he purchased a pair of green spectacles in 1666 for their therapeutic effect. He complained that his eyes were often sore because of the long hours he spent writing by candlelight. The examples above are more modern. The pair on the left are wig spectacles dating between 1780 and 1800, while the one on the right are so-called double-D or railroad spectacles, dating to 1820, made to protect the eyes as much as to facilitate better vision.
Courtesy of The Museum of Vision, museumofvision.org.