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Spectacles with a false nose attached, England, 1890-1925

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Charles Williams (c. 1875 – c. 1925) of Tonbridge, Kent, damaged his nose in an accident. The simplest way to maintain his appearance was to wear a special artificial nose. It was made of metal and painted a flesh colour. The easiest way for Williams to wear the nose was to attach it to this pair of spectacles. The nostril holes are small so Williams may have had difficulty breathing. His family donated the spectacles to the Science Museum in 1985.

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Glossary: ophthalmology

The branch of medicine dealing with the diseases and surgery of the visual pathways (usually the eyes or the brain).

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: prostheses

Artificial body parts, or materials inserted into tissue for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic effect. Prostheses can be functional (artificial arms and legs), or cosmetic (artificial eye).