Historical information

The spectacles and case are an example of eyewear from the early 20th century. The case was made by Carter & Foord of Ballarat. According to the tag inside, the spectacles frame cost three pounds, three shillings and sixpence (£3.3.6).

Carter & Foord was established in 1902. The firm advertised as opticians, oculists, watchmakers and jewellers. The staff repaired scientific instruments and were sole agents for the gramophone, demonstrating its advantages whenever there was an opportunity. In 1902 the business was located at 46 Lydiard Street, Ballarat. The staff in the ophthalmic department, under the care of Harold Foord, specialised in sight testing using up-to-date equipment and this service was free of charge. Customers were promised that they would be fitted with glasses guaranteed to correct the most complex sight. Mr F M Clacius performed the grinding of specific lenses.

Julia Carter, Harold Foord and Clacius were all formerly from the business Carter & Warner, which had been sold to Frederick Clark around 1903 after Mr Carder passed away. Carter & Foord operated a few doors away from the former business. In 1912 advertisements in the Geelong Advertiser invited the community to visit Harold Foord, of Carter & Foord, to have their eyes examined at no charge.

These spectacles are similar to others in the W.R. Angus collection, donated by the family of Dr W R Angus, surgeon and oculist.

The W.R. Angus Collection spans the years 1885 to the mid-1900s and includes historical medical and surgical equipment and instruments from the doctors Edward and Thomas Ryan of Nhill, Victoria, with whom Dr Angus worked for several years. Dr Tom and his brother had worked as surgeons including in eye surgery. Dr Tom Ryan performed many of his operations in the Mira private hospital on his premises. When Dr Angus bought into the Nelson Street premises in Nhill he was also appointed as the Nhill Hospital’s Honorary House Surgeon 1933-1938.

Dr Angus married Gladys in 1927 at Ballarat, the nearest big city to Nhill where he began as a Medical Assistant and had been Acting House surgeon at the Nhill hospital where their two daughters were born.

Dr Angus and his family moved to Warrnambool in 1939, where Dr Angus operated his own medical practice. He later took on the part-time role of Port Medical Officer and was the last person appointed to that position.

After convalescing from injury resulting from his service during WWII, Dr Angus studied ophthalmology at the Royal Melbourne Eye and Ear Hospital. He created cosmetically superior artificial eyes by pioneering the use of intrascleral cartilage. Angus received accolades from the Ophthalmological Society of Australasia for this work. He returned to Warrnambool to commence practice as an ophthalmologist, pioneering artificial eye improvements. He had been an Honorary Consultant Ophthalmologist at Warrnambool Base Hospital for 31 years. He made monthly visits to Portland as a visiting surgeon, to perform eye surgery.

Both Dr Angus and his wife were very involved in the local community, including the planning stages of the new Flagstaff Hill and the layout of the gardens there. Dr Angus passed away in March 1970.


The Carter &O Foord spectacles are significant as an example of early 20th-century eyewear and fashion. They are connected to the history of regional Victoria, being made in Ballarat and purchased for local use.
The spectacles are significant for being connected to the W.R. Angus Collection, which is important for still being located at the site connected to Doctor Angus, Warrnambool’s last Port Medical Officer. Dr Angus and his wife brought their young family to Warrnambool in 1938 and he remained a resident until his death in 1970.
Early in his profession in the town of Nhill, Dr Angus assisted Dr Tom Ryan in his pioneering use of X-rays and in ocular surgery, and Dr Angus later inherited these items. The W.R. Angus Collection includes these medical instruments and other related equipment and is culturally and historically significant as an example of the medical practice of the late 19th to the mid-20th century. Other items in the collection relate to Dr Angus’ service in the Flying Doctor Service and the Army.

Physical description

Spectacles in a hard brown textured case with rounded corners and a hinged lid. The case is lined with brown velvet. The opaque yellow oval frames, raised at the outer top corners, are decorated with sparkling jewell decorations on the bridge. The arms are reinforced with metal inside. Also in the case is a pale blue cleaning cloth and a cardboard price tag with handwritten text. An inscription in gold lettering is stamped inside the case. The case was made by Carter & Foord of Ballarat. The design of the frames is called ‘ewell These spectacles are part of the W.R. Angus Collection.

Inscriptions & markings

Handwritten label: “JEWELL / £3.3.6”