Katharine Lee Bates is wearing a style of wire rim pince-nez eyeglasses popular in the 1880’s. Notice the chain. The chain was connected to a hair pin for women and an ear clip for men. At this time, both men and women wore the same style glasses. Rimless pince-nez became popular after 1900. The major reason was that the lens could be cut to any shape needed. This was important after bifocals became common. The early frames such as worn by Bates had either a distance or a reading lens.