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Rose Didymium Safety Glasses


This is a pair of safety glasses of simple constructed. The lenses are circular and made of rose didymium. The lenses are mounted in a flat frame made from a single piece of plywood and have a textured brown paper surface on both sides. The arms of the frames are metal wires curved at the end to loop around the ears. These pieces of wires are covered with plastic.

The glass appears purplish under incandescent light and green-blue under fluorescent light.

Accession Number:

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Glass, Wood, Plastic, Metal

Markings: Etched on each of the lenses: “W.D.”

Dimensions (cm):


These glasses are for protecting a glassblower’s eyes. The rose didymium glass of the glasses absorbs the harmful bright yellow ‘sodium flare’ emitted when heating glass. Their pale colour likely means they are intended for use when working a soft glass, such as soda lime silicate.


Excellent: The lens and frames are in excellent condition, except for the etched initials on each lens. The wires and plastic coverings show signs of being repeatedly bent, but are in otherwise good condition.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Unknown

Date of Manufacture: Early-Mid 20th Century


These glasses were used at the University of Toronto Department of Chemistry glassblower’s workshop.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: