Temples are the ''arms'' on eyeglasses. They're also called sides, bows,
ear pieces, and sometimes even legs. There are two basic styles. The most modern
style is called a ''skull
temple'' and that's the kind with the paddles at the
ends like most all glasses made today. They're called skull, paddle, or even
hockey ends. Many old frames have what are called ''cable
temples'', which are
the kind that wrap around behind the ear. Cable temples are also called wrap
temples, curl sides and I keep hearing the term riding bows. In both kinds of
temples, there are several different hinge styles, blade sizes and, of course,
lengths, usually from 5 1/2 inches (130 mm) up to a very long 7 inches (175 mm). All temples
are measured as though they were straightened out. For more details about
measuring temples, please see How to Measure for Vintage Eyeglasses. Note
that all temple installations typically will require fine-tuning and adjustment.
Heavy duty temple blades are about 1 mm thick, just over 1/32
inch. Though they sound like they would be extremely thick, they're not.
They're called ''heavy duty'' because they were an innovation and replaced what
was called a ''regular'' blade temple. (If you don't
have a metric ruler, you can also measure with a short stack of copy-paper or
sticky-pad notes. A heavy duty temple is about 10 sheets and a regular
blade is between 5 and 7 sheets.)
are gold heavy duty blade temples, 6 1/2 inches (165 mm).
They're new temples, not vintage, but they're made by a reputable old maker, Art Craft.
These will fit most heavy-duty bladed vintage frames from the later 1930s onward.
The choices shown below
all have what's called a ''regular'' blade thickness (about 0.7 mm or 7 sheets
of stacked note paper). Regular blade thickness temples were
generally used on frames before WWII. After WWII, heavy duty thickness bladed
become the most common model.
This is a 6 inch regular blade silvertone pair. The filigree is a nice, simple repeating triple
vintage stock, mint condition.
The temples shown below are ''skull''
temples, also called paddle temples, arms, legs or sides with hockey ends.
They all have a ''heavy duty'' temple blade thickness which fits most
vintage U.S. frames dating from around and after the 1940s. They ship
straight, that is, the tips (the paddle section) will not have the bend in
them. This allows you or your optician to fit them specifically to your head
and your glasses. I can bend them for you if you'll let me know where you
would like the bend using the menus provided below. Please note that once
bent, they're no longer eligible for refund.
click for the BIG picture
These are silver-tone skull temples with a 1 mm hinge blade that fits
most vintage frames made from the 1940s onward. As shown, they're 5
3/4'' (145 mm) long and can be trimmed down to any length.
These are new gold skull temples with vintage-style tips, what they
often called ''shell tips''. Of course, they're not really shell,
they're plastic. (They can also be used with the silver skull temples
shown above. A silver option is listed below, too.)
They have a 1 mm hinge blade thickness to fit most vintage wire frames made from the 1940s onward. As shown, they're
6 1/8'' (155 mm) long and can be trimmed down to any length.
The photo at right shows the new ones above a vintage one. They're a very close match.
They're also a good match for vintage nose pads, too. These have been very popular with my
customers seeking vintage frames, but not ready for the usual cable
temples used on most frames back then.
This is what's called a cable-conversion end, a contemporary way of making a skull temple into a cable or
''wrap-around'' temple. Cut the skull temple to a selected length, push the conversion end on and heat hot to set.
They're plastic, as opposed to cable, but
they get the job done. The wire diameter on the temples should be 1.6 millimeters or less for these ends.
Cable ends shown on a frame for reference
click for the BIG picture
I keep them in black (as shown on the frames above) and brown.
Conversion Ends, Black
Conversion Ends, Brown
These are not cable temple covers. Cable temple covers can be
If you have any questions about temples
or anything else, please don't hesitate to contact