In recent treasure hunting, Mama LOC and I happened upon this spectacular spectacle specimen (okay, I'll stop!)
Enter this gorgeous silvertoned, metal eyeglass case.
Beautiful, eh! The metal feels light, perhaps like a tin. The inside is lined with a blue velvet, and that logo! It's some sort of a die-cut, super thin metal. Except for a hint of tarnishing, it's not bent up, and smooth.
Inside as well was a cleaning cloth. I love vintage advertising, and this is no exception. A salmon-y pink, it says:
"Eyes Examined, Glasses Fitted, Orthoptic Treatments
If at anytime your glasses need adjusting, bring them in and we will be pleased to do it free of Charge.
W. Vernon Glendening
1838 Ferry Park Avenue
Near 12th St.
One block south of West Grand Boulevard
Left side says:
9 A.M. to 6 P.M.
Mon. Wed. and Fri.
evenings to 8 P.M.
By Appointment, Phone Trinity 2-0473"
Included also was a small hair comb, but I doubt it was original to the case.
So now I needed to find a way to date it. Unfortunately, very little on the Internet exists for a quick search on W. Vernon Glendening, but I did find a few things.
1. The Optical Journal and Review of Optometry - Dated January 5, 1922.
On January 28th, his application to join the Detroit Society of Optometrists is received:
In yet another later edition of this volume, he attends a convention, March 22.
2. The Blue Book of Optometrists, dated 1958.
The Blue Book of Optometrists, from what I can best decipher, is a "who's who" or a record of all the Optometrists in the United States, sorted by states, similar to a telephone book. By switching my search in Google to W.V. Glendening, we get the listing above.
Unfortunately... the trail goes cold here. Google couldn't find any other mentioning of him, not even an obituary - but keep in mind, if he's practicing Optometry and is admitted into a society in 1922, and there is still a record of him practicing in 1958, 36 years after his admittance, he would have been deceased before any modern Internet.
Making a big assumption here, but if he is born in let's say, 1896, he is admitted to a society at age 26 (I am unsure the typical entrance age of these societies), and in 1958 is 62 years old. This leads me to another clue.
3. "12th Street"
"Near Twelfth Street" in Detroit, Michigan is where this office is. Deserving of a whole other story in itself, the Riot of 1967 broke out, which has been heralded as the beginning of the "end" for Detroit. Policemen raided an after-hours drinking establishment, arresting over 80 people. While waiting for the "paddywagons" to come take these people away, the crowd that gathered, seething from tensions between the police and the community, a riot broke out, beginning as a brawl in the street. It didn't just end with a brawl. 44 people died, 1000 were injured, and over 7,000 were arrested. The National Guard was called in, with tanks and more. The President at the time, Lyndon B. Johnson went on TV to tell the nation that Detroit was out of control. It was a very bad time for Detroit. This website is a fascinating first-person view of the 1967 Riot, if you're interested.
What does this have to do with Twelfth Street? What does this have to do with our Optometrist? In 1967, Twelfth Street was documented as being a thriving business district with a substantial population. In 1958, we know W. Vernon Glendening is still in business, although we don't know for how much longer. Using the math from earlier, if we estimate he was born in roughly 1896, in 1967 he would be 71 years old.
The Michigan Daily newspaper out of Ann Arbor, on October 16, 1975 writes about a coming name change for Twelfth Street.
Detroit is notorious and unfortunately, synonymous with ruin.
As a fellow Michigander, the ruin of Detroit is incredibly unfortunate.
Using Google's wonderful satellite imagery, and the ability to "walk" the street, I can see that the address, 1838 Ferry Park Ave. is still there.
But when I zoom in - a grocery store, which appears to be abandoned now sits where once was a optometrist, giving out this very eyeglass case and eyeglass cleaning cloth to someone who wanted to keep their vision safe and sound. Times change, of course, but it does make you wonder how places come to be.
Little pieces like this eyeglass case give us clues and hints to a different time, a way to "see" back to perhaps, a better time in a city's history.
The style of the case, plus the date tells us it's before the 70's. The case itself is very thin - nearly only .5" tall. This tells us that it's not from the 50's or 60's, where large, horn-rimmed glasses were popular.
We know that in the early 40's, that there were scrap metal drives for the war effort. A quick Google search does not show many, if nearly any cases that were metal. This can mean one of two things a) this case is from the 30's or b) this case was not donated for the war effort. Tsk! ;)
The logo is stylized, with an Art Deco feel - it is streamlined and geometric. The Art Deco period also saw materials used like chrome and stainless steel - a distinct possibility for this metal.
This would also be about the right time period for him and his business if we're going with being born in 1896 - if in 1935 he is 39 years old, his business is established and doing well enough to procure these stylized cases and cloths.
So, by process of elimination, and with the other clues here, I can say with some confidence that this case is from 1930 to maybe 1940.
|With some certainty, I can say that this case *puts sunglasses on*... is closed. (YEAAAAAHHH)|
|For Sale, Here|