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Trade card for Thomas Ribright, optician, London, England, 1753-1772

Thomas Ribright was an English optician working in London from 1735 to 1772. The trade card shows the items that he made including spectacles, microscopes and telescopes. It was not unusual for opticians to make instruments such as microscopes as these required highly ground lenses, a skill that spectacle makers had acquired and developed in the course of their day to day work. Ribright was the optician to one of the members of the Royal family, an indication of the high quality of his workmanship.

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Glossary: spectacles

Pair of eyeglasses to compensate for defective vision or to protect the eyes from light, dust, and the like. Kept in place by sidepieces passing over the ears, on the nose or held in the hand.

Glossary: trade card

Printed sheets, and later cards, bearing tradesmen's advertisements, often including an engraved illustration; produced from the 17th through the 19th century. Cards made later often included the name and address of a business concern and the name of its representative, and intended more for information than for advertising, use "business cards." For cards made later and distributed for advertisement, use "advertising cards," and for those made later and issued primarily to be collected, with or without advertisements on them, use "collecting cards."

Glossary: optician

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