A History
of monocles

The monocle is one of the world's strangest yet most beneficial inventions after glasses. Most people had forgotten what a monocle actually was until it became a popular prop in the harry potter movies. A monocle allows its wearer to correct any visual deformities of one eye and is easy to carry and store in the top pocket. There is more to monocles than just being a single corrective lens though, and they come in several distinctive styles.

When Were Monocles Introduced To England?

Monocles first made their appearance in the UK in the late 1830's. It was at this time that the monocle gained popularity, especially among the middle and upper middle classes. While the 1830's was quite a recent period, the monocle has roots tracing back well into the early 1700s.

What Are The Three Types Of Monocle?

The first type off monocle features a single lens contained within a simple loop of metal wire. These were the first type of monocle to be worn in the UK from the early 1800's and proved to be highly popular and seen as distinguished.

The second type of monocle came towards the late 1800s and featured a more detailed and better-designed rim, which also contained the 'gallery'. The gallery consisted of 2 raised metal frames that jut from the main lens and would slot into the eyes orbit. This would secure the monocle comfortably into place and prevent the lashes from knocking it out of the eye area.

The third type of monocle consisted of a lens only which was carefully cut to fit the user's eye socket perfectly. There would occasionally be a small hole to the side of the monocle to place a holding wire, but otherwise, it was famed for being a simple lens only visual aid.

Who Wore A Monocle?

As a general rule of thumb, the monocle was typically seen as the reserve of the wealthy and upper classes. Over time, as the cheaper versions of the monocle became available, access to the visual aid was easy for every person from every class system.

An interesting fact about monocles is that they rose in popularity between the fashionable lesbian circles of the late twentieth century, becoming a symbol of sexuality. However, with recent advances in visual corrections, monocles have fallen out of fashion and are rarely seen outside of comedic settings such as in film and TV.


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