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The Vintage Optical Shop

  • Famous cat eye glasses from Oliver Goldsmith

    Posted on December 27, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Extravagance is the name of the game where Oliver Goldsmith cat eye glasses and other eyewear are concerned. Each new year brought fresh developments that showed both the limits and the possibilities of combining human imagination and vintage eyewear. Eyewear is intriguing partly because it has to be functional – it must fit on a [...]


    This post was posted in Cat eye glasses

  • Algha, John Lennon Glasses, and Postwar Fashion

    Posted on December 19, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Emerging from the dark and bloodstained days of the Second World War, the antique eyeglass fashion world exploded into huge popularity. Not only a host of new materials, but probably peoples' defensive psychological reaction to the grimness that had just ended, caused the market to embrace bright, whimsical, or magnificently stylish designs.
    Algha, Max Wiseman's British [...]


    This post was posted in Windsor Glasses

  • Algha and the Cult of John Lennon Glasses

    Posted on December 13, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    The story of eyeglasses is a rich and varied one, woven not only of threads of technical advance and materials technology, but also human attitudes and cultures, and fascinating glimpses of the lives and thoughts of uniquely quirky individuals –as is the case with the history of John Lennon glasses. One of the main firms [...]


    This post was posted in Windsor Glasses

  • Oliver Goldsmith's Handmade Cat Eye Glasses

    Posted on November 12, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    As with many of the top end cat eye glasses and other sophisticated retro eyewear of the mid 20th century (and the present day), Oliver Goldsmith glasses were and are handmade. It is an interesting commentary on the unchanging nature of human skill that the finest eyewear, even in our era of computer guided manufacturing [...]


    This post was posted in Cat eye glasses

  • The Extravagant Vintage Cat Eye Glasses of Oliver Goldsmith

    Posted on November 2, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    There are many intriguing twists and turns of fate in our world, and one of these is to be found in the early history of Oliver Goldsmith, one of the foremost firms of the world today. Oliver Goldsmith himself – originally named Philip Goldsmith, but later using his middle name for greater advertising cachet – [...]


    This post was posted in Cat eye glasses

  • Science and Style – Persol Cat Eye Glasses in the 1960s

    Posted on October 12, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    From its beginning as Giovanni Ratti's line of vintage eyewear for such “adventurous” types as early drivers and aviators, Persol soon blossomed into a chic line of glasses that appeared in many different forms, including cat eye glasses in the 1960s. Most Persol glasses were and are sunglasses rather than corrective eyewear, true to the [...]


    This post was posted in Cat eye glasses

  • The Glamor and Quality of Persol Cat Eye Glasses

    Posted on September 21, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Italy is now famous as a center of exciting fashion houses and the latest modes in everything from sports cars to jewelery, from shoes to top quality cosmetics. Thus, it is hardly surprising to learn that Italian designers played an important role in the vintage cat eye glasses world of the 1950s and 1960s, too [...]


    This post was posted in Cat eye glasses

  • Windsor Eyeglasses Safety Goggles from the Early 20th Century

    Posted on September 14, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Safety goggles have had a longer history than most people realize, and some in the form of Windsor eyeglasses date back to the first years of the 20th century. In fact, a French medieval helmet has been found with clear mica in the visors, or “vision slits”, to keep splintered lances or the knives of [...]


    This post was posted in Turn Of The Century

  • Patent Infringement in the 1920 vintage Glasses Market and the Spread of Oxfords

    Posted on September 7, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Though the culture that produced 1920 vintage glasses such as Oxfords might have been somewhat more genteel than our own in some regards, there was still plenty of room for cutthroat competition between firms. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the vindictive legal battles and outright, blatant patent infringement that occurred when Oxford Pince [...]


    This post was posted in Turn Of The Century

  • Makers of Round Vintage Glasses – the Varied Market of Oxfords

    Posted on August 31, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Oxfords were immensely popular round vintage glasses in their day, made to be both practical eyewear and pieces of carefully sculpted fashion art. Many featured the handles or ribbon loops also found on pince nez, though typically in an elongated, highly decorated form that almost transformed them into “miniature lorgnettes”. Such handles were necessary not [...]


    This post was posted in Turn Of The Century

  • Tortoise Shell Eyeglasses – Oxfords, Femininity, and Masculinity

    Posted on August 30, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Tortoise shell eyeglasses provide a warm, colorful contrast with the colder, though still attractive, sheen of all metal antique eyeglasses, and this material was actually part of an interesting trend with the Oxfords of the early 20th century: the emergence of masculine and feminine styles of vintage glasses rather than the unisex eyewear of the [...]


    This post was posted in Turn Of The Century

  • Oxfords – the Round Vintage Glasses of the Early 20th Century

    Posted on August 29, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    The coming of the 20th century brought new science, new materials, new manufacturing techniques, and new fashion trends to the round vintage glasses that had existed for centuries, throwing out new and intriguing forms that gave templeless eyeglasses a new lease on life.
    Although the period between the end of the 19th century and the hideous [...]


    This post was posted in Turn Of The Century

  • Style, Comfort, and Coated Windsor Vintage Eyeglass Frames

    Posted on August 25, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Though style and comfort sometimes collide head-on – and given the peculiarities of the human psyche, it is unclear which of the two will emerge victorious in a specific “struggle” – Windsor Vintage eyeglass frames often show a blending of both stylistic and comfort considerations from their earliest days. Constructed out of narrow wires, almost [...]


    This post was posted in Windsor Glasses

  • The Emergence of Windsor Glasses

    Posted on August 22, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    The 19th century was a fertile time for the creation of new antique eyeglasses styles in America, as well as innumerable variants on existing configurations; pince nez were first made in this era, and Windsor glasses, which survive in use to this day, also put in their first appearance in the 1800s.
    This period was probably [...]


    This post was posted in Windsor Glasses

  • Tortoiseshell Vintage Glasses and Cases in Late 19th Century America

    Posted on August 20, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Tortoiseshell is an exquisitely beautiful substance and was popular as a material for vintage glasses for several centuries – tortoiseshell glasses also appeared in later 19th century America. The shell actually comes from the hawksbill sea turtle, and not a tortoise – an unfortunate use for a rare and remarkable creature, though one which, at [...]


    This post was posted in Turn Of The Century

  • American Vintage Sunglasses in the 19th Century

    Posted on August 11, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Sunglasses have had a surprisingly long history, dating back to the boundary of the Medieval era and the Renaissance, and the American vintage sunglasses in the 19th century are the continuation of a long tradition of tinted, sun-defeating lenses for the comfort of those outdoors in the summer glare. Venice was a center of production [...]


    This post was posted in Turn Of The Century

  • The Emergence of American 19th Century Eyeglasses on the World Stage

    Posted on July 25, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    For centuries, the American continent was decidedly junior to Europe in the manufacture of both eyeglass lenses and the antique eyeglasses themselves, but this changed with the high quality 19th century eyeglasses which were fashioned in the New World. The earliest days of the Colonies were obviously too hardscrabble and technically primitive to sustain a [...]


    This post was posted in Pince Nez

  • Civil War Spectacles – the Hand of Bausch & Lomb

    Posted on July 18, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    When considering Civil War spectacles, it is perhaps ironic that the man who did more than any other American entrepreneur to create the immense popularity of pince nez glasses and their successors, Oxfords – John Jacob Bausch, an immigrant from Germany who arrived in the United States with the superior manufacturing techniques of the Old [...]


    This post was posted in Pince Nez

  • The Furor Over Black Ribbon on Vintage Eyewear

    Posted on July 4, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Today, when people wear vintage eyewear such as pince nez glasses from the late 19th or early 20th centuries, they almost always make use of the ribbon loop or handle that almost always appears on the lower side of one eyerim. This projection can range from a simple loop molded seamlessly into the metal fabric [...]


    This post was posted in Pince Nez

  • Civil War Glasses and the Warrior's Pince Nez

    Posted on June 27, 2012 by The Vintage Optical Shop

    Despite the early 20th century belief at that pince nez were “delicate” and “ladylike”, pince nez were simultaneously associated with one of the world's most manly callings, that of the warrior or soldier, as in the example of Civil War glasses. As with other human stylistic choices, it was quite possible for people to reconcile [...]


    This post was posted in Pince Nez

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