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Child's spectacle frames

Child's spectacle frames

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    1950-1959 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cellulose acetate and metal

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Pair of child's National Health spectacle frames, of black cellulose acetate. The frames are rounded, with a straighter and slightly winged top, and have a high joint with a keyhole-shaped bridge and clear acetate pads; the hinged sides are probably reinforced with a metal core, and curve inward and downward to fit around the ears.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)


1950-1959 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Cellulose acetate and metal

Marks and inscriptions

40 x 20


Height: 3.9 cm, Width: 11.4 cm, Circumference: 14.2 cm sides

Object history note

References: The donor in his letter states that children's spectacles of this type "were produced on the most simple of machinery...they were made by many British manufacturers to the ministries (sic) general specification [and] each licensed manufacturer would mark the frame with his four letter code..."

Acquired by the donor during his career as a dispensing optician with
R W H Clements, 1 Portland Road, South Norwood, London SE25 4UG.
The NHS scheme whereby children were given free spectacles lasted from 1946 to 1988, when it was phased out in favour of vouchers.

Descriptive line

Child's spectacle Frames; British, 1950-59

Production Note

Made by: National Health Service


Europeana Fashion Project


Museum of Childhood

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