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Ray Ban Eyewear: The Story
In 1929, US Army Air Corps Colonel John A Macready worked with Bausch & Lomb, a Rochester, New York based medical equipment manufacturer, to create aviation sunglasses that would reduce the distraction for pilots caused by the intense blue and white hues of the sky.
Specifically, MacCready was concerned about how pilots' goggles would fog up, greatly reducing visibility at high altitude. The prototype, created in 1936 and known as ‘Anti-Glare’, had plastic frames and green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision. They also added impact-resistant lenses in 1938. The sunglasses were redesigned with a metal frame the following year and patented as the Ray-Ban Aviator. According to the BBC, the glasses used “Kalichrome lenses designed to sharpen details and minimise haze by filtering out blue light, making them ideal for misty conditions.
In 1999, the Global Eyewear Division of Bausch & Lomb, including Ray-Ban, was acquired by Luxottica Group for US$640 million.