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Pink coil spring spectacles, National Health Service issue,

Science Museum, London

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Credit: Pink coil spring spectacles, National Health Service issue,. Credit: Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


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Mass produced spectacles were available in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s through the National Health Service (NHS). These frames are a typical example. The coil springs secured the frames when the arms hooked behind the ears. NHS spectacles showed little imagination in terms of design flair. They were made cheaply for robust use and utility rather than fashion. The National Health Act in July 1948 made spectacles free for all. This proved expensive. By 1951, patients paid half the costs towards spectacles. However, eye tests were still free of charge. maker: Unknown maker Place made: United Kingdom


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