Before Eye Care Became a Professional Service

Painted By:Herbert Morton Stoops


In this “Watch-Repair, Spectacle Shop” painting the artist has pictured a scene typical of the years from 1890 to 1900, when village folk used to get their spectacles from the local watch-repair shop.


A quaint wooden signboard, cut out to resemble a pair of glasses, swung above the sidewalk in front of the shop.“Watch Repairing” appeared in weather-beaten gilt letters on one side, “Spectacles” on the other.


Inside the store, the watchmaker spent most of his time behind a metal cage, repairing watches and clocks, but occasionally he had to leave his tedious tinkering to sell a pair of spectacles for a pair of aging eyes, or a fancy locket for a sparking swain.


Customers entering the dimly lighted watch-repair shop viewed the spectacle display amidst a profusion of clocks, watches, jewelry, and chinaware.From a homemade display case they selected the style of spectacles they liked best, put them on and tried to read.With test cards they tried out their vision, then told the shopkeeper which glasses they found best.


But this was in a day long past, when spectacles were worn by few and for short periods only.This was before the modern practice of examining, refracting, and prescribing and/or interpreting, fitting, and servicing had been developed...before the busy life of today had begun to exact its toll on eyes and eyesight and increased the need for professional skill and services.

Now, professional eye care is available to all and scientific visual correction is an ethical, professional service.


Today, care of the eyes can be entrusted to men who education, experience, and ethical standards assure eye comfort and visual efficiency.


Today, American vision is the best in the world, thanks to the professional skill and services of ethical Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, and Ophthalmic Dispensers.


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