Ever wondered where those iconic glasses worn by James Joyce came from?
James Joyce was a client of Yeates and Son Opticians, which was housed for one hundred years at 2 Grafton Street. In 2018, a pair of glasses worn by Joyce during the writing of Ulysses turned up, and sold at auction in Dublin along with the original Yeates and Son spectacle case. These glasses, like all Yeates and Son glasses were manufactured at 2 Grafton Street, where in 2022, on the centenary of Ulysses The Leopold Bloom Press was established.
The Leopold Bloom Press takes its name from James Joyce’s modernist novel Ulysses. In the Lestrygonians episode, Joyce sends Leopold Bloom to our building, 2 Grafton Street.
‘He crossed at Nassau Street corner and stood before the window of Yeates and Son pricing the field glasses.’
It is here at 2, Grafton Street the former location of Yeates and Sons that Leopold Bloom tries on Goerz lenses, field-glasses that are on display in the window of the optician and instrument maker that occupied the unit during the 1900s. Bloom and the optician discuss vision and imagination. The conversation goes as follows;
The Ulysses Commemorative plaque at No.2 Grafton Street
‘There’s a little watch up there on the roof of the bank to test those glasses by.’
His lids came down on the lower rims of his irides.
Can’t see it.
If you imagine it’s there you can almost see it.
Can’t see it.’
Originality, longevity and a compelling story are key, therefore we are most interested in authors who have polished up the focus of their third-eye
The Leopold Bloom Press Mural at No.2 Grafton Street.
The Leopold Bloom Press is strictly not open to the public. Those who wish to visit us must contact us in advance in writing and have a pre-organised appointment.