Edit: If you’re just chancing across this post, be sure to read the delightful comments below by Janet Warner Reid, the oldest daughter of Clarence Warner.
This image has been propagated all over the net by various content aggregators whom I will not mention here; I saw it in a collection of interesting tidbits shared with me by my good wife. At the New York Daily News I was able to find an attribution:
Caters News./ Published: 04/28/2014 12:58:23
What intrigued me about this image is that I have a pair made in 1951 which I inherited from my dad. One temple is missing and the remaining hinge is corroded closed, but these are the real McCoy.
Look closely between the lenses and you’ll see this logo:
Mark Cross is a premier luxury leather goods company, and still going strong. If you want a $2500.00 fine leather men’s travel bag about the size of a laptop case, they’re just the company for you. Armed with the brand, I was able to come up with this:
Changing Times, The Kiplinger Magazine, October 1951, Page 38. For what it’s worth, Kiplinger is still in business as well.
Naturally, if there’s a good idea, you can be sure someone in China will make it for cheap.
This pair is called Bed Prism Spectacles, made by a Chinese outfit and for sale via Amazon.com for $13.05. Given that the original set by Clarence S. Warner sold in 1951 for $19.95, the equivalent of $182.00 today, I’d say that’s a pretty good deal. Of course, it’s hard to tell the quality of these new knockoffs (and there are many, many versions out there), but I know the ones sold by Mark Cross were top-drawer.
The idea is great, but there are some drawbacks. If you’re nearsighted like me and wear glasses, they don’t work all that well. Contacts would be an obvious answer, but then one would need reading glasses for close-up work if you’re farsighted as well. Like me.
But I’ve had these in my treasure collection since 1989 when dad passed away, and it’s nice to know I have a pair of the originals, made by a company that makes only the best.
The Old Wolf has spoken.