History of the Ray-Ban Aviator

Few sunglasses have made their mark such as Ray-Ban’s iconic Aviators. We’ve all seen them and we know what they are just by looking at them but when did they start and where did they come from. The guys over at Businessinsider.com helps to shed some light on the topic.

As technology pushed pilots to new heights, airmen reported having headaches and altitude sickness from the glare of the sky.

To address this issue, US Army Air Corps Lieutenant General John Macready commissioned Bausch & Lomb to design a new pair of sunglasses in A prototype designed with green lenses proved to remove glare without obscuring the pilot’s vision.

The new antiglare eyewear “banned” the distracting rays from US aviators’ eyes, giving way to the name “Ray-Ban.”

In World War II, Ray-Ban continued to improve their original lenses by equipping them with a gradient effect.

With a dark half on top, and a gradually lighter half on the bottom, this colorized effect gave the pilots a clearer view of their instrument panels without compromising their effectiveness.

Eager to emulate pilots, civilians were able to buy and sport the eyewear in 1937.

It should also be noted that General Douglas MacArthur was the first to truly popularize the shades, after photojournalists published several images of him landing on a beach in the Philippines in 1944.

For the full history of Ray-Ban check out this great information sheet from Luxottica.

At Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ we have a large selection of Ray-Ban aviators and plenty of other styles as well. Come in today and let us fit you for your next great pair of glasses.

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