Dr. Leary experimented with a lot of different ways of seeing beyond what our brains are capable of seeing.
Wearing the glasses causes the wearer to have vivid hallucinations and you never want to take them off after you put them on according to Artie.
The glasses definitely make the world a less boring place, superimposing, multiplying and often garishly coloring images, as well as, at least in the case of the MacPherson variant, frequently adding a soundtrack to the moment.
In "For the Team", Pete is ordered by Mrs. Frederic to not go on anymore missions for a while until they're sure the effects of the Telegraph from Oman have worn off on him. Bored, Pete tries to make doing paper work more fun by wearing the glasses.
Real World Connection
Timothy Leary was an American psychologist and writer, known for his advocacy of psychedelic drugs. Leary believed LSD showed therapeutic potential for use in psychiatry patients. In his infamous Good Friday experiment, he
took two groups of people and gave one group a psychedelic mushroom compound while giving the other group a placebo, them believeing that it was a psychedelic drug. Almost all of the members of the experimental group reported experiencing profound religious experiences, providing empirical support for the notion that psychedelic drugs can cause religious experiences. One of the participants in the experiment was a religious scholar, Huston Smith, who would become an author of several textbooks on comparative religion. He later described his experience as "the most powerful cosmic homecoming I have ever experienced". During the 1960s and 1970s, Leary was arrested often enough to see the inside of 29 different prisons worldwide. President Richard Nixon once described Leary as "the most dangerous man in America".
- In reality, the props used are the executive producer, Jack Kenny's, glasses.
- The real glasses were collected in 1969, presumably in August. The 55th annual Agents' Retreat, held August 15-18 and themed around them to celebrate their collection, was dubbed the "Summer of Leary", and coincided with Woodstock.
- https://twitter.com/EddieMcClintock/status/1154187446126383106 @EddieMcClintock The 2019 @DragonCon, #WAREHOUSE13 t-shirts have been found!!! (click the image) "After the discovery of Timothy Leary's "unusual" glasses by Warehouse Agents, the Regents decided to theme the 1969 Agents' Retreat around the groovy new "snagged, bagged and tagged" artifact. Unfortunately, the Retreat happened to coincide with a small music-festival in Upstate New York that would change the world forever. These shirts were found boxed up in a dusty corner of the Warehouse, and are now being released to the public!"
- https://twitter.com/EddieMcClintock/status/1154546953394327554 @EddieMcClintock “HEY-HEY-HEY!” After 50 years, several boxes of t-shirts from the “1969 #Warehouse13 Summer of Leary Agents’ Retreat” have been discovered and are being released to the public. These shirts were made for the Agent’s Retreat to celebrate the acquisition of Timothy Learys’ glasses.