National Health Service spectacles with mock tortoiseshell frames, 1970-1980.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A pair of NHS (National Health Service) spectacles with imitation tortoiseshell frames made from brown plastic. When the National Health Service was established in 1948, eye tests and spectacle frames and lenses were all provided free of charge. Unfortunately, demand greatly exceeded supply, and it became necessary to produce a large stock of a limited range of frames to meet this demand which had created waiting lists of up to two years for glasses.