Long before private detectives, bugs and cell phones, jealous lovers could rely on a pair of special glasses to spy on their beloved’s movements.

In the 18th century, for example, the “lunettes de jalousie,” or jealousy spyglasses, were much coveted, as they allowed the wearer to look sideways while feigning to look straight ahead, all the better to secretly watch over one’s partner. They were especially popular among theatergoers, who would rather observe a budding romance or signs of infidelity in neighboring boxes than sit through the opera.

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