Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Amazing Glow-In-the-Dark Rosary

I got this off of Ebay several years ago without realizing what it was ~ a rosary for children that glows in the dark!  And not only does it glow in the dark, it also has a tiny Stanhope lens in the center of the cross that lets you see the Virgin Mary when you look inside!  What child wouldn't want to pray the rosary with this?

What is a Stanhope lens?  Briefly, it's a tiny microscope that was invented by Charles, the third Earl of Stanhope It's made by using a tiny tube of glass with convex ends. The image to be viewed is put at one end of the glass tube and appears to be magnified when the device is held up to the eye. 

Stanhope lenses were especially popular during the 19th century and put in all sorts of souvenirs and novelty items.  They were popular to sell at religious pilgrimage sites as well.  An image of the site would be put at the end of the tube and the whole thing would be set into the center of a rosary crucifix.  I have another one that shows six views of Lourdes, France when you look into the viewer! It's amazing when you realize how tiny the viewing area is.

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