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

Jane Martin with the device she designed and made that will help short-sighted people with tasks such as reading and writing. 4675-1
Jane Martin with the device she designed and made that will help short-sighted people with tasks such as reading and writing. 4675-1
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Buckland pensioner Jane Martin, was so short-sighted she could not see people’s faces in the street.

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.

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.’