Orasmus Turner said that Joseph was separated from his scribes by a curtain and translated using "spectacles."

Orsamus Turner
2nd Hand

Orsamus Turner, History of the Pioneer Settlement of Phelps and Gorham’s Purchase, and Morris’ Reserve: Embracing the Counties of Monroe, Ontario, Livingston, Yates, Steuben, Most of Wayne and Allegany, And Parts of Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming. To Which Is Added, A Supplement or Extension of the Pioneer History of Monroe County (Rochester, NY: William Alling, 1851), 215

William Alling (Publisher)
Martin Harris, Orsamus Turner, Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery
Reading Public

The Prophet Joseph, was directed by an angel where to find, by excavation, at the place afterwards called Mormon Hill, the gold plates; and was compelled by the angel, much against his will, to be the interpreter of the sacred record they contained, and publish it to the world. That the plates contained a record of the ancient inhabitants of this country, "engraved by Mormon, the son of Nephi." That on the top of the box containing the plates, "a pair of large spectacles were found, the stones or glass set in which were opaque to all but the Prophet," that "these belonged to Mormon, the engraver of the plates, and without them, the plates could not be read." Harris assumed, that himself and Cowdery were the chosen amanuenses, and that the Prophet Joseph, curtained from the world and them, with his spectacles, read from the gold plates what they committed to paper. Harris exhibited to an informant of the author, the manuscript title page. On it were drawn, rudely and bunglingly, the concentric circles, between and above and below which were characters, with little resemblance to letters; apparently a miserable imitation of hieroglyphics, the writer may have somewhere seen.

Citations in Mormonr Qnas
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