LOOKING BACK – MAY 2015

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The ’50s ushered in an era of consumerism in the United States, and the optical industry was a part of this trend. Frame companies had access to a greater variety of raw materials after World War II. Shuron, for example, introduced the combination frame in the ’40s and cellulose acetate and aluminum became more widely used. The manufacturers that became big players included Victory Optical, Tura, Artcraft, and Kono. Eyewear evolved into a fashion accessory and became gender-specific, as seen in these vintage optical ads. Check out the “interchangeable tops” of the Flame Frame to match different outfits, and the Victory Optical ad from Vogue magazine with the same message. In the mid ’50s, American Optical introduced its first U.S. designer line, Madame Elsie Schiaparelli. Courtesy of the Optical Heritage Museum, opticalheritagemuseum.org.

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