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Template for making child's spectacles

Template for making child's spectacles

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    1960-1985 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Perspex and rubber-based composition with metal screws

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Template for making child's spectacles, consisting of a block of red-brown rubber-based composition in the shape of the front of a pair of spectacles, with a lens-shaped piece of perspex screwed to each of the eyepieces and a hole drilled through the centre of each. During the process of making a pair of NHS spectacles, once the inner eyepiece holes had been cut in a sheet of cellulose acetate (using a template like B.314-1996), this second template was put down on the sheet and the perspex shapes fitted into the eyepiece holes for an exact match, so that the exterior of the frame front could be cut tracing the outlines (B.316 - 1996 was used at a subsequent stage).

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)


1960-1985 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Perspex and rubber-based composition with metal screws

Marks and inscriptions

46 68


Height: 18 mm, Width: 138 mm, Depth: 45 mm

Object history note

References: The donor in his letter states that children's NHS spectacles "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

template for making child's spectacles; British, 1960-85

Production Note

Made by: National Health Service


Perspex; Rubber; Metal


Interiors; Household objects; Shekou; Values of Design; Design Society


Museum of Childhood

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