US Presidents and their Eyeglasses
President Lyndon Baines Johnson
Photos below courtesy of the Johnson Library
The Museum Collection of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum holds over 50 pairs of eyeglasses owned by President Johnson. The majority of the frames are plastic and contain glass bifocal lenses, but a few frames contain single vision lenses. Several different eyeglasses manufacturers are represented in the collection including; American Optical, Bausch & Lomb, Victory and Bylite.
The eyewear collection also contains several pairs of contact lenses used by President Johnson during his presidency. In addition to the individual pairs of contact lenses in their cases, the collection contains a small contact lens kit used by LBJ while he was on the campaign trail. The kit includes one pair of hard contact lenses, a bottle of lens lubrication issued by the U.S. Naval Dispensary in Washington, DC, and two small rubber suction cups to aid in the installation of the lenses. Most of the contact lenses were manufactured by Frontier of the Northeast, Inc/Frontier Contact Lenses.
I have attached two photos to this message. One image is of a typical pair of eyeglasses worn by President Johnson (1970.10.89). The other image is that of the above mentioned contact lens kit (1973.3599.1).
Dear Mr. Whitney,
I see that a member of the museum staff has already replied to your inquiry regarding their collection of President Johnson's eyewear. As for textual archives, we have documents and correspondence related to the President's vision, use of glasses, and contacts. For instance, according to what we know from these materials, President Johnson was the first U.S. President to wear contact lenses, starting in 1964.
In total, we have approximately 40 pages of material in our White House Central File Subject Files (PP: President, PR: Public Relations). If you are interested in this material we can have them photocopied for your use. For now, please find attached two copies of Johnson's eye prescriptions from 1957 and 1962 for to view.
Thank you for your interest in the LBJ Library and its holdings, and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Eric R. Cuellar
1968 photo showing LBJ with his glasses
Above 1970 shows President Johnsons Glasses with AO Executive Lenses in them (Segment is visible)
George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, JFK and...
In recent months, a number of articles have come to light about US presidents and their eyeglass choices.
The information is being shared here and hopefully will grow to include other Presidents as such information is uncovered.
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