The history of Curry & Paxton

The company was originally founded by Joseph Pickard and William Curry in 1876 under the name Pickard & Curry. Based at 195 Great Portland Street, London, it specialised in the design and manufacturing of ophthalmic instruments and parts, many of which were granted patents. It was the first company to develop in both sides of the optical trade, this being dispensing and manufacturing, and the diverse range of its creations was simply astounding. Today, we are proud to have a museum-worthy arsenal of archival instruments and parts to remind ourselves of our innovative and premium quality past.

In the 20th century, the industry underwent another state of evolution and eyewear quickly went from being a purely medicinal tool to a fashionable accessory favoured by the elite and wealthy. The company by this point was going from strength to strength and produced, by hand, thousands of spectacles of all shapes, sizes and purposes to accommodate the growing market.

It was around this time that tortoiseshell became a favourable material for its lightness, strength and depth of colour. Synthetics also came to the fore, and the company offered a wide-range in a variety of elegant styles for both men and women. Nevertheless, from the documents and leaflets we are in possession of, we can look back through a nostalgic and clear lens at handmade opticals that can now be considered fine art.

 

 

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