Making a Spectacle of Yourself: a Steampunk Perspective of Victorian Eye Wear

A topic I am very interested in… obviously.

Cogpunk Steamscribe

Doctor Who Series 8 (episode 9)

Most people associate goggles with the Steampunk Aesthetic, and I have to admit I have quite a collection of goggles. However, the Victorian era had more versions of eye wear than we do today. They didn’t just have spectacles and bifocals, they had pince-nez, lorgnettes, quizzing glasses, monocles, and opera glasses.


Pince Nez01Pince Nez02

Pince-nez were a style of glasses supported without earpieces; instead, they were held on by nose pads that gripped the bridge of the nose.  The name is quite self-explanatory if you understand French, for the name comes from the French word ‘pincer’ which means ‘pliers’ or ‘to pinch’ in English, , and ‘nez’,  which means ‘nose’. The fashionable pince-nez their peak popularity around 1880 to 1900. They were worn by both men and women.

Because they had no ear pieces, pince-nez were inclined to slide or drop off the nose. To prevent them from being smashed on the…

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