Another treasure found in LaPlace

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 1, 2011

After writing numerous articles on treasures that people have stashed away in their homes,

I have come to realize that “treasures” can be almost anything. It’s what you find that’s dear

and valuable to you. I recently found Mrs. Cheryl Millet, owner of Saint Optical in LaPlace, and she has what I call a real treasure.

Today, if you go to get your eyes checked, you sit in a chair and look through lenses until everything gets clear and you can see. But in the 1800s, these machines did not exist.You had to sit in a chair, and the optometrist, or eye doctor, had a small case with over a hundred different lenses in it. The doctor would give you a lens, and you would hold it up and look through it. You could also slip it into what looked like a pair of glasses and look

through it that way. The doctor would change these lenses until you could see really well.

The case Mrs. Millet has is from the1800s. The case was made by Nachet and Fils, located at Number 17 Rue Severin in Paris, France. The case is called a Trial Lens Set and is lined

in red velvet and contains over 100 lenses. Mrs. Millet said that they continue to make these lenses and use them because some people felt confined or have a phobia when they sit with their face pushed up against a machine. 

In the photographs, Mrs. Millet is pictured with the modern lens on her face. Also shown is the Lens Set from the 1800s and a modern lens set that is used today.

What kind of hidden treasures do you have tucked away? There are collectors of everything, and you might have something stored away that would be worth thousands of dollars to just the right collector, so pull out those hidden treasures and dust them off. As they say, one person’s trash is another person treasures!

Wayne Norwood is a lieutenant with the St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Department and owner and operator of the Louisiana Treasures Museum.