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Template (jig) for making child's spectacles

Template (jig) for making child's spectacles

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    1960-1985 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Steel and cellulose acetate with metal screws

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On display in Values of Design, Design Society, Shekou, China

Physical description

Template (jig) for making child's spectacles. The jig consists of a rectangular block of steel with two pieces of translucent pale pink cellulose acetate screwed to one face of it, with a voided shape between them. The shape is in the form of part of the front of a pair of spectacles, with two small holes drilled in the steel plate where the top corner of the frame would be. During the process of making a pair of NHS spectacles, once the whole frame front had been cut from a sheet of cellulose acetate (using templates like B.314, 315-1996), each side was inserted into this third template in turn, and the pair of small holes used as a guide to drill holes for affixing the hinged sides.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)


1960-1985 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Steel and cellulose acetate with metal screws

Marks and inscriptions



Height: 13 mm, Width: 68 mm, Depth: 53 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 (JIG) for making child's spectacles; British, 1960-85

Production Note

Made by: National Health Service


Steel; Plastic


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


Museum of Childhood

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