Magnifying Glass, c. 1790-1820

Magnifying glass in the collections of The Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, California.

Museum Description: small hand held trade magnifier. Brass with round lens. Handle in tear shaped loop. No marks. A trade item; French or British in origin. Structurally sound, no apparent changes. Found at Miami archeological site; Illinois.

Physical Description: brass; round glass lens; 1 1/2in x 3 3/8in; 3/8in. dia.

NDT Note: "Burning Glass"--for starting fires. Trade item that looks to have been used for everyday use (utilitarian). Item measures L: 3 3/8 in; W: 1 in, D: 3/8" Not weighed, but object was heavy for its size. Copper with glass lens; listed as "brass handled" on museum accession receipt. The item appears to have been buried at one time; the glass has several scratches on it, frame and handle are slightly bent. Condition of object: 2.5, based on corrosion. There is an acrylic resin on the side of the magnifying glass onto which the museum item number is written in pen. Museum representatives noted this would come off with solvent.

Provenance: Gift from Mr. Compton LaBauve, Jr. Date collected unknown; museum accessioned December 2, 1989.

The Autry's Collections Online reads: Object Name: glass, magnifying; Place Made: Europe; Date: circa 1800; Materials: Copper; glass Remarks: Magnifying glass, found at a Miami Indian site in Illinois, made in France or Great Britain, circa 1800. Used to start fires.