A question

When did people wearing monocles stop being taken seriously in public life?

Noel Pemberton Billing

Noel Pemberton Billing, independent candidate for Hertford, in 1916. From N. Pemberton-Billing, Air War: How to Wage It (London: Gale & Polden, 1916).

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8 thoughts on “A question

  1. As I suspected, Wikipedia suggests monocles became redundant due to advances in optometry. (I wear glasses, but have a clear difference between left and right eye, so I did wonder about it.) It does not directly answer your question but it seems to imply they fell out of favour after WWI

    It even has a nice picture of Hugo Sperrle for you, to illustrate the archetypal evil monocle wearing Hun!


  2. Nicholas Waller

    Patrick "Sky At Night" Moore wears/wore one...including as a teenager and in the RAF (he was a navigator) in WW2; says he has one bad eye and that the monocle evened them up and he didn't like glasses.

    Apart from him, I am guessing most people associate monocles these days with comedy Germans and murderous Nazis.

  3. Post author

    Ask a silly question, get a sensible answer! :) I'd forgotten about Patrick Moore; I guess he gets an exemption as an eccentric old boffin. Personally I tend to associate monocles with the upper-class twit stereotype even more than evil Nazi officers but perhaps that's me.


    Yes, I'm trying to up the ratio in the hopes of getting a certification from the International Association for Noel Pemberton Billing (Pemberton-Billing) Studies.

  4. Chris Williams

    Me, I am heretical about Patrick Moore. Fabulous astronomy communicator, nasty bit of ultra-right wing work in his spare time.

    As for the monocle, I think it was 1954 - when ventriloquist Ray Alan put one on his dummy Lord Charles.

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