President Truman’s personally-owned and -worn bifocal eyeglasses, featuring perfectly round amber-colored lens pieces attached by a gold-tone bridge, with thin temples and flexible looped earpieces. Accompanied by a glasses case stamped by Dr. J. F. Leslie of Springfield, Missouri. Includes a letter of provenance on White House letterhead from the wife of Arthur S. Prettyman, who had served as Roosevelt’s valet from 1939 until his death in 1945, and continued to work for Truman until he left office. Mrs. Prettyman also worked at the White House for a time. In part: “These early style eyeglasses were given to my husband Arthur S. Prettyman during the major White House renovation around 1950…When the Trumans had to move to the Blair House during the total renovation of the White House, it was necessary for them to pack, store, or eliminate many personal possessions. President Truman wore glasses from a very early age. These eyeglasses were the style used by Mr. Truman when he was a young WWI Lieutenant, and they remained his favorite style during his Senate years as well.” An exceptional personally-used presidential item, most likely from his early years as a Missouri senator—especially rare since well-documented Truman personal items from his early war and senatorial days are virtually nonexistent.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.