Manufactured in the ’60s and ’70s, American Optical’s SunVogues sunglass line made its claim to optical fame with high quality and strong brand recognition. Both fashionable and effective, the trendy sunwear was popular with both women and men; President John F. Kennedy was the most iconic figure to wear them (pictured above left in the Saratoga). A 1978 Frames magazine poll reported that SunVogues were the No. 1 women’s sunglass line, with three styles in the top 10 and No. 2 in men’s sunglasses. One style incorporated the new photochromic lens Sunsensor XDF that darkened and lightened “very rapidly over to 70% to 17% transmittance range,” which was darker than the competing Photosun lens and was able to fade twice as fast. In 1980, American Optical updated the collection with the Corning Photochromic XDF lens in nine styles. Historical eyewear writer Neil Handley included SunVogues in his 2011 book, Cult Eyewear: The World’s Enduring Classics. The frames look just as current today as they did many decades ago! Courtesy of the Optical Heritage Museum and Robert Knudsen, White House Photographs, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston


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