St James's Events | RETROSPECTIVE: London,… | St James's London

15 - 8
November - April

RETROSPECTIVE: London, Spectacles and Half a Millennia

Cubitts presents a retrospective on London's history of optics.

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It’s not widely known, but London has a remarkable history with spectacles.

The earliest pair were found in Trig Lane and are almost 600 years old. In 1629 the City Livery Company the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers was formed, the oldest optical body in the world, with the slogan ‘A blessing to the aged’. In 1704, Isaac Newton published Optics, his ‘treatise of the reflextions, refractions, inflexions and colours of light’, paving the way for the modern optical industry.

Cubitts’ exhibition follows the story of optics in London, from its seminal beginnings through to the ‘golden age’ of the 1930s, noting peculiarly British inventions such as the monocle, the ‘Supra’, and the lorgnette.

Cubitts tracks the last century, from the establishment of the National Health Service to the present day, and see an industry characterised by growth, then decline, and now renewal.

The exhibition opens November 15th, 2018 at the St James's Market Pavilion and runs until April 2019.