This week in 1974: Pensioner with terrible vision hopes to help the short-sighted

Buckland pensioner Jane Martin, was so short-sighted she could not see people's faces in the street.

Tuesday, 11th July 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:27 am
Jane Martin with the device she designed and made that will help short-sighted people with tasks such as reading and writing. 4675-1

But for the previous year, the 79-year-old had been living with a vision.

During that time she had travelled across the country, written letters and campaigned to turn her ‘vision’ into fact.

Her idea was a five-inch circular magnifying glass set in a wooden frame which could rest on the lap or table to help short-sighted people with tasks such as reading and writing.

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The experiment started because of her own needs.

Mrs Martin suffered with cataracts and had great difficulty with her needlework.

‘It is an idea which could be processed on a commercial scale and would be of use to thousands of people,’ she said.

‘It would be invaluable as a household aid, but it could also be used in industry, for example on an assembly line where small components are being used.’

Mrs Martin had spent about £200 on samples, travelling and taking out an official patent for the idea.

She said: ‘I am not interested in making a lot of money. I would sell the idea to anyone who thought they could get it into production.’