Originally developed in 1936 by Bausch & Lomb, Aviator sunglasses gained popularity with the famous Ray Ban Aviators – the original Bausch & Lomb design marketed by Ray Ban. Nowadays, almost any brand of sunglasses produces aviator-style models, such is the success of this thin metal framed design.
Aviator sunglasses were originally developed by New York based company Bausch & Lomb. Bausch & Lomb, which are still the largest suppliers of contact lenses and eye implants, were asked to develop sunglasses specially designed for pilots to protect their eyes while flying, thus the name Aviators.
With large and slightly convex lenses with an area two or three times the area of the eyeball, Aviator and Aviator-style sunglasses prevent the light from entering at any angle. This makes the Aviator design one of the best when it comes to eye protection.
Aviator sunglasses gained momentum in the 1940’s when General MacArthur landed on the Philippines in World War II. The pictures of the American General wearing Aviators traveled the world, pushing the popularity of the Bausch & Lomb design.
Later, in the 1980’s, Tom Cruise popularized the Aviators in their natural environment with the blockbuster fighter jet pilot movie ‘Top Gun’.
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