Vision Aids in America

A Social History of Eyewear and Sight Correction Since 1900


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About the Book

This text examines the eyewear industry in America from 1900 to 2008, a period which mirrors an increased demand for eyewear. Eyeglasses, sunglasses and contacts are discussed. Topics covered include the marketing and selling of eyewear with particular attention paid to advertising strategies and the internal structures of the industry and its regulations, which have sometimes helped and sometimes hurt consumers. This critical examination reveals how a relatively simple and functional item such as corrective eyewear could be transformed through marketing into a fashion accessory and a personal statement.

About the Author(s)

Cultural historian Kerry Segrave is the author of dozens of books on such diverse topics as drive-in theaters, lie detectors, jukeboxes, smoking, shoplifting and ticket-scalping. He lives in British Columbia.

Bibliographic Details

Kerry Segrave
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 218
Bibliographic Info: 25 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6291-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8522-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. The Years Prior to 1900      7
2. Medical Advice, Lore and Oddities      20
3. Children and the Needy      33
4. Fashion and Style      40
5. Marketing      52
6. Women      66
7. Image, Psychology, Experiments      75
8. Statistics      87
9. Optometry Laws      92
10. Price- Fixing, Scams, Retailing      107
11. Contact Lens      134
12. Sunglasses      158

Chapter Notes      189
Bibliography      199
Index      207