Pince-nez ebonite 1860s
Pince-nez made of ebonite represents unsold stock from over 150 years ago. This pince nez is made of hardened rubber, blued-steel for the spring, with incorporated nose pads.
Ebonite is rubber that has been vulcanized with 25% to 50 % sulfur to become ebonite (also called vulacanite). Although never used, there is slight oxidation of the steel because of their age.
John J. Bausch first used ebonite for spectacle frames in 1864 in Rochester, New York. So this hard rubber pince nez represents one of the first ebonite frames in the world.
The frames are “6” . The six indicates the focal length in inches. This would correspond to about +5.50 diopters of power in today’s usage.
A +5.50 power reader would be used for very close work such as fixing watches. The two eyes of a normal person would not be able to work together at this range. Perhaps that is why one lens is missing. (early monovision?)