Rayban Did Not Invent Aviator Sunglasses

Let me tell you straight away right now, Ray-Ban did not invent aviator sunglasses. There is no denying this. And, no, I’m not trying to play a game of semantics here. When I refer to Ray-Ban, I am also referring to their parent company Bausch & Lomb. The two, as far as I am concerned, are one in the same. So, when I say that Ray-Ban did not invent aviator sunglasses, I mean it. Neither company originated, created, or invented the iconic and instantly recognizable teardrop lens shape, metal frame construction or double bridge design. Nor were they the first to incorporate these features into a revolutionary form of pilots sunglasses we would eventually call aviators. And yet, look up almost any article about Aviators and you will read how Bausch & Lomb pioneered the design and transition of aviator goggles into innovative metal-framed sunglasses for improved military application. But, the truth is, Ray-Ban Aviators weren’t even the first pilot sunglasses to be commissioned by the United States military and were certainly not the first pair of sunglass to be worn by pilots. 

What then are the actual origins of this absolutely iconic style of sunglasses, and why has Ray-Ban and Bausch & Lomb been credited with their invention? The origins are simple, absolute, without confusion; there is little discrepancy here. However, when it comes to Ray-Ban’s and, more specifically, Bausch & Lomb’s involvement in the use of aviator sunglasses in the military, as well as the companies’ very real claim as being the first to bring the modern day incarnation of the style to market, things get a little up in the air, so to speak. But, once again, only a little. So, prepare yourself to unlearn everything you think you know about Aviator sunglasses. Because, it’s about damn time the true history of the Aviator is better understood. 

But, before we get into this, I would like to point out that this blog post is but a single installment in a trinity of posts that dispel the common misunderstandings associated with Ray-Ban’s most iconic styles of sunglasses, those being the Wayfarer, the Clubmaster and, in this case, their Aviator models. If this sort of thing interests you, I highly recommend you checking out my other two articles: “Why You Should Stop Calling Them Wayfarers”, and “Why You Should Stop Calling Them Clubmasters”. With that out of the way, let’s look deeper into the history of the Aviator.

As I have said, neither Ray-Ban nor Bausch & Lomb invented the aviator sunglasses as we know them today. And, so that we can really see why that is, let us first focus on the origins of each key design component that defines the aviator style, after which, we can then see if anyone brought all three together before the 1937 launch of the first Ray-Ban aviators. The three characteristic traits of the modern day aviator are:

1. The tear drop lens shape

2. The metal frame construction

3. The double bridge design

Looking first into the history of the iconic tear drop silhouette, it is well known that this was the shape of goggles worn by aircraft pilot’s, motorcyclist and automobile drivers long before the 1937 release of the first Ray-Ban aviators. One of the most renowned of the earliest examples of such goggles is the Persol Protectors, invented in 1917. These goggles were worn by air forces around the world after their creation, but they too were not the first of their kind. There may be earlier examples, but the earliest I could find is the Warren Eye Guard, dating back to around 1895-1896. Described as eye protection for bicyclists, motorists, boaters, and hardworking types, one can see the tear drop shape beginning to take form.

Around the same time, it would seem that others were creating protection for land based adventures as well. In 1911 the Auto Glass appeared. What was interesting about this pair was that we not only see the tear drop shape come into full effect, but we also get a metal wire frame construction as well as tinted lenses made of glass rather than stone. As a small aside, interestingly, they did offer these in a rimless option as well. Another detail you might have picked up is that the Auto Glass does not have a double bridge, rather it is hinged, a feature that would make its way into the first true aviator sunglasses commissioned by the US military.

Now, with two out of the three major design components swiftly out of the way, we have but one more feature to verify as having been designed before the 1937 launch of the Ray-Ban aviator: the double bridge. Up to this point, we have seen examples of hinged bridge, metal framed, tear dropped shaped sunglasses, but what about the double bridge variety? When did the double bridge first come into play? Well, it seems that the origin of this element is found once again in the realm of safety. Wire frame safety glasses, with larger than average lenses for the time,required a double bridge construction to add extra stability to the frame. Eventually, this strength increasing design characteristicmade its way into motoring sunglasses as well, and were popular between the 1910’s to 1920’s. So, the double bridge feature is nothing new. But, it does bring us to an important decade in our story. It is in the 1920’s that the story starts to get a little confusing, so before we go any deeper, let’s take stock into where we are at.

Did Ray-Ban create the iconic tear drop lens shape? No, that was derived from protective goggles, first for motorists and then for pilots. Was Ray-Ban the first to transition these tear drop shaped goggles into metal framed sunglasses? Again, no. This transition occurred sometime in the early 1900’s between 1910and the 1920 and was also brought about to protect the eyes of motorists. Finally, did Ray-Ban produce the first double bridge sunglasses? Once again, the answer is no. Ray-Ban did not create this either, as it was a design dating back to at least 1850 and was common place on motoring sunglasses. So, if Ray-Ban was not the first to design any of these key components individually, and they were not the first to bring together any two of the features together at the same time, were they the first to bring all three of the features together simultaneously? Well, it’s hard to say.

That distinction goes to American Optical and their D-1 sunglasses, the first aviator sunglasses to be commissioned by the US government to be used by the US Air Corps in 1935, a full two years before the plastic frame Ray-Ban aviator was released to the public (yes, I said plastic frame) and a full three years before the introduction of their metal frame version. But, more on that in a minute. Let us first analyze where this story of a military connection with Bausch & Lomb and the Ray-Ban Aviator comes from. Well, once again, I can trace at least what seems to be the modern-day origin down to one article, written, on this occasion, by The New York Times. And, while the article is not likely incorrect in its telling of the tale, it is the assumptions it makes, the history that is left out, and the myriad of interpretations of the information within that has led to this ridiculous notion that Ray-Ban invented aviator sunglasses for the US military. That story goes something like this.

I can find pictures of motorist tear drop shaped metal framed sunglasses with double bridge construction that are speculated to be from the early 1930’s, like the ones you see here, but, it is very hard to precisely date a pair of sunglasses from this era. However, as you will see, there is some evidence that would suggest that the idea for the marriage of these three key characteristics was not likely and almost certainly not solely the brain child of Bausch & Lomb. But, lets ease our way into that, shall we. Let us first ask ourselves one more fundamental question. Were the Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses the first aviator sunglasses to be officially commissioned, issued and deployed by the US military? Once again, the answer is no, but it takes a little while to get there, so let’s get started.

According to the New York Times, the year is 1920 and Shorty Schroeder decides to fly his open-cockpit biplane above 33,000 feet. He is wearing aviator goggles, of course. Now, one of the major problems with these goggles was that, while they protected the wearer from their eyes being blinded and frozen over, they tended to fog up. Apparently, this happened to Shorty while he was flying at this bewildering height and he began to have trouble seeing. In response, he took off his goggles. Now, that solved the fogging issue, but left his eyes unprotected from the elements. His eyes quickly became blinded by the sunlight and also froze over. Somehow, he managed to work his way out of the situation and land his plane, where his good buddy John Macready was there to help get him to safety.

Macready, being a US Army Air Corps Colonel, was apparently the adventurous type, so one month later he decided to try and beat Schroeder’s record. He got in his biplane, strapped on his goggles and flew higher than his friend had done before. I don’t know if his goggles fogged up on this flight, but if they did, it would seem as though he had learned that lesson from his friend and kept them on to protect his eyes from the glare of the sun and from the freezing cold. But, while he was up there, he noticed another issue. The lens in the googles was not dark enough to adequately protect his eyes from the suns bright rays. Thus, upon his return, at some point, he teamed up with Bausch & Lomb to design goggles better at blocking those harmful, blinding rays. And, this is where the story gets a little lost.

The New York Times article describes what came next as:

“And so Macready began working with Bausch & Lomb to design goggles especially suited to protect against the dazzle in the stratosphere. “My dad gave Bausch & Lomb the original shape, tint and fit” of aviator lenses, Wallace said.”

The first important piece of information you will notice is that the article states that Macready was working with Bausch & Lomb to design googles, not sunglasses, that were better at protecting pilot’s eyes from the glare of the sun. Ultimately, what Macready wanted was better lenses for existing pilot’s goggles. There is no mention of a grand scheme for the creation of aviator sunglasses that Macready had in mind when he reached out to Bausch & Lomb. However, the article goes on to abruptly skip over to the 1937 release of the Ray-Ban aviators, and we are lead to believe that it was decade’s worth of research from a Bausch & Lomb/military partnership that lead to the first pair of aviator sunglasses. The problem is, they left out most of the important bits of history in-between.

Another major issue is that the New York Times seems to be taking Macready’s daughter’s statement out of context. They quote her as having said, “My dad gave Bausch & Lomb the original shape, tint and fit”, but then go on to imply that she was referring to “aviator lenses”. Now, I have no doubt that Macready provided Bausch & Lomb with the shape, tint and fit of the new lenses he wanted to see in aviation goggles, but, as we know, they were hardly the first “aviator lenses”. And, while the New York Times article doesn’t specify them as the first, the coupling of Macready’s daughter’s word “original” with the addition of “aviator lenses” and once again the immediate jump to the release of the 1937 Ray-Ban sunglasses speaks towards the idea. So, already we have a source article that is, I believe, unintentionally misleading, though misleading nonetheless. However, this is only the beginning of this massive historical misunderstanding.

Now, I can’t say that this is the first article that lead everyone down the wrong path, but it certainly seems to be at the crux of the issue, as its interpretation in Wikipedia (ya know, the place where most people seem to go when they want to rehashed information for a blog post) is even more distorted. First, we must note that the New York Times article does not specify the year that Macready begin working with Bausch & Lomb. Apparently, this disturbed the creator of the Wikipedia article as much as it disturbed me, and it led them to hunt down that information. They seem to have found their answer in a Men’s Health posting about Ray-Ban aviators where they state that this partnership began in 1929, a full 9 years after Macready’s incident.

Again, I can’t confirm this date any more than I can confirm the 1920 flights by Schroeder and Macready, but these things do take time and I can envision it consisting of some 9 years or so for Macready to research the issue, concoct a solution and find a company interested in utilizing his new design. So, assuming the dates are correct, the trouble comes, once again, in the wording of the Wikipedia article. The article states:

“In 1929, US Army Air Corps Colonel John A. Macready worked with Bausch & Lomb, to create aviation SUNGLASSES that would reduce the distraction for pilots caused by the intense blue and white hues of the sky. SPECIFICALLY, Macready was concerned about how pilots’ goggles would FOG UP, greatly reducing visibility at high altitude. The prototype, created in 1936 and known as the “Anti-Glare”, had plastic frames and green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision. It went on sale to the public in 1937.”

Wow, there is a shit load of misinformation in that! Ok, let’s see if we can tackle this as eloquently as possible. The first major issue is that the article describes Macready’s idea as being for a new type of “sunglasses” rather than being better lenses for existing pilot goggles. This is a huge mistranslation of the original New York Times article and lends to further perpetuate the idea of a military/Bausch & Lomb partnership that leads to the creation of the first aviator sunglasses. 

But, if that wasn’t bad enough, this idea is deepened in the Wikipedia article by stating that Macready’s concern was with the googles fogging up rather than his true motive, a lens solution to the issue of sun glare! This leads us to think that he really did want something other than just aviator goggles with better lenses in them! But, remember, fogging of the goggles might have been an issue for Schroeder, but there is nothing to indicate that it was an issue for Macready. However, even if fogging was a concern, as we will see shortly, it doesn’t seem to have helped Bausch & Lomb to the punch.

So, what really happened sometime between 1920 and 1937 that lead to the first true pair of sunglasses created specifically for aviation? Well, we are about to do our best to figure that out. As we know, sunglasses with tear drop shaped lenses of metal frame construction and double bridge designs existed before 1937, they just weren’t yet being made necessarily specifically for aviation. Though, there is some evidence that suggests this might have been the case, it is difficult to confirm. However, from what we do know, sunglasses which resemble Aviators in design were already being utilized for land use. They were for bicyclists and motorists. But, as cockpits went from open to closed in the mid 1920-‘s, it is almost inevitable that some pilot at some point used these motoring sunglasses for the purposes of flying. 

Of course, it’s quite difficult to find pictures of or information about pilots wearing land based sunglasses for the purposes of flying in the mid-1920’s to the late 1930’s, but there is reason to assume that it was at least on people’s minds. The primary case for such an assumption is these: the 1935 US military issued American Optical D-1 sunglasses, the first US military commissioned aviator sunglasses. One can clearly see from this design that the idea was to replace the standard pilot’s goggles with lighter weight sunglass. But, where did the idea come from? To be honest, I don’t know. My best guess is that as closed cockpits started to become the norm, the goggles had outstayed their welcome and pilots began wearing their own sunglasses or even some companies might have started making them specifically for aviation purposes.

However it all went down, there is one aspect of the result that tells us worlds about the origins of Aviator sunglasses. Ray-Ban appears to have had little to no part in this transition. Remember, the story goes that Macready commissioned Bausch & Lomb to create better lenses for googles sometime in the late-1920’s, but it wasn’t until 1936 that they made good on that effort, with their PLASTIC frame “Anti-Glare” prototype, a full year after the military had already developed the first official Aviator sunglasses, the American Optical D-1’s. Now, I don’t know when the design for the D-1’s began to take form, but Iimagine that it could easily have been a good year or more before 1935.

Thus, Bausch & Lomb seems to have been playing catchup here, leading us to believe that they likely had little to do with the transition from aviator goggles to aviator sunglasses and were simply following a trend that was becoming standard military gear. But, if this was the case, why then did Macready, an Air Corps Colonel, reach out to Bausch & Lomb in the late 1920’s? Well, it’s likely because Bausch & Lomb had a history of producing optical equipment for the US military since the early 1900’s, including the first telescopic gun sights and range finders. Regardless of this connection, however, the contract for the first military issued Aviator sunglasses ended up going to American Optical despite whatever Bausch & Lomb had been working on, and it wasn’t until sometime later that Bausch & Lomb was brought on board to help evolve the design.

At some point after the release of the D-1’s, the US military brought on additional companies to help in the manufacture of the AN6531, which were issued in 1941. The AN representing the fact that the creation of the lenses was a joint effort between the Army Air Corps and Navy. Those companies included The Chas. Fischer Spring Co., Wilson Optical, Rochester Optical Co. and, of course, Bausch & Lomb. Each made the original AN6531 to the military spec, as well their own versions of its future iterations. This final model was generally known as the “Comfort Cable”, likely due to them being more comfortable than the old D-1’s. There were also three other variations that seem to have come out around the same time, but were much more short lived. Those are the E-1, the F-1 and the G-1. 

Thus, while Ray-Ban likely had little to do with the transition of aviator goggles into Aviator sunglasses, they may have had something to do with the evolution of the design as we know them today. Their plastic frame, double bridge “Anti-glare” were introduced as a prototype in 1936, only one year after the D-1’s were commissioned. The next year, in 1937, Ray-Ban released that plastic framed model to the public. One year after that, in 1938, they released a metal frame version they called the Ray-Ban Aviators. Given this timeline, it is very possible that the design of these early Ray-Ban Aviator sunglass models influenced the final outcome of the AN6531.

Like most advancements in design or technology, all parties involved were likely taking notes from each other. However, if the original Ray-Ban Aviators did inspire the design of the AN6531, that is actually a pretty significant contribution, at least to the overall aesthetic of Aviators as we know them today. There is no doubt that the double bridge design with a more tamed down tear drop silhouette became the quintessential version of Aviator sunglasses, but it is hard to say if Ray-Ban was truly even the originator of this variation, or if they were just expanding upon what was already available. 

And, honestly I think this is what Ray-Ban had been doing all along. Did they possibly have input into the creation of the D-1? Yeah, probably, as they were likely working with the military throughout the 1930’s. But, the contract went to American Optical for a reason. Did Ray-Ban’s release of their double bridge, metal frame tear drop shaped sunglasses in 1938 influence the design of the AN6531? Again, it’s possible. But, it is just as likely that Ray-Ban’s involvement with or their knowledge of the development of the AN6531, or any other pair of motoring or unofficial aviation sunglasses at the time that has been all but long forgotten, lead them to add a double bridge and tame down the tear drop silhouette. As far as I can tell, no one really knows how it all played out. Either way, there is not quite enough evidence to justify the status of inventor of the aviator sunglasses that the misinterpretation of history has bestowed upon them.

But, isn’t there something else we are missing? Isn’t there a key characteristic of Aviator sunglasses that we have yet to discuss? Yes, there is: the lens. What of those special lenses Ray-Ban was working on for Macready all those years? Whatever came of that? Did they at least come to be of some genuinely unique design that Ray-Ban can claim as an influence on the evolution of Aviator sunglasses? Well, again, it’s hard to tell, but the evidence is not in their favor.

As we know, Bausch & Lomb seems to have taken so long to fulfil Macready’s request for better lenses for pilot’s goggles that they ended up just putting their final product in their plastic frame aviator sunglasses prototype the “Anti-Glare”. But, was there anything revolutionary about this lens technology? Not as far as I can tell. Ray-Ban’s Anti-Glare green lens sunglasses came out a full year after the American Optical D-1’s, which also had a green lens. But, lens color, while indicative of the style does not tell us much about the sun protecting capacity of lens. Heck, even the old motoring sunglasses from the early 1900’s had green lenses? However, lens color is important in that it is beneficial for pilots to see the world in the most “TrueColor” format available, but green lenses still have some color distortion associated with them, and, thus, were not the final answer to the problem. The primary factor involving reducing glare for pilots is within the amount of visible sunlight that is allowed to transmit through the lens, another quality of the Anti-Glare that was not likely much better, if any, than what was already available. 

I can’t find information regarding the light transmission qualities of either the D-1 or the Anti-Glare, but the first Type 1 AN6531 lenses in 1941 had a 50% transmission rating, so my guess is that any lenses that came before it were of less or equivalent value. Even if the sun protecting qualities of the Anti-Glare was the catalyst which lead to the creation of the AN6531 Type I lens, the 50% transmission rating proved insufficient to protect pilots form sun glare, and new solutions were subsequently sought after. In 1942, American Optical in cooperation with Polaroid released the first polarized sunglasses. Now, one might think that this technology would be ideal for reducing the sunglare that pilots experienced, but in reality, polarized sunglasses had the negative effect of making it more difficult to see instrumentation that already had anti-glare coating applied tothem. So, this was also not the ticket.

To resolve the issue, the military developed a Type II lens for the AN6531 they called Rose Smoke. Now, it’s important to remember that Bausch & Lomb was a part of that team, along with American Optical and others, manufacturing both the Type I and Type II lenses for the AN6531, but there is nothing to indicate that they alone were the pioneering force behind these innovations. This new lens was either completely grey or a grey/green mix, it’s hard to tell, but the result was a lower light transmission rating and a grey tint that provided more of a TrueColor view of the world. Once again, I could not find any information about the exact date the Type II lens became available, but given that it wasn’t until 1953 that Ray-Ban released their now iconic G-15 lens, my money is on the fact that the G-15 came after the Type II and was derived from what Bausch & Lomb had learned helping improve the AN6531.

What we end up seeing is that even at best, Ray-Ban would have had only small inputs into the creation and invention of aviator sunglasses, not nearly enough to warrant the view of history that has developed around them. But, even if Ray-Ban was not the first to incorporate a double bridge design into an altered tear drop shape and darker more true color lens amounting to the iconic aviator we know and love today, there is the possibility that they were the ones to popularize it. While the release of the Anti-Glare in 1937 and the Ray-Ban Aviators in 1938 may or may not have been a success, the true popularity of Aviator sunglasses seems to have it’s roots in the year 1944 when Military General Douglas MacArthur was photographed wearing a pair in the Philippines during World War II.

Of course, as you might have guessed, the pair of aviator sunglasses that MacArthur is most famous for wearing is almost exclusively referred to as Ray-Ban aviators. Yet, this is the one instance that I might actually agree with this generalization. They are clearly not the traditional AN6531, nor do they look like these pair of similarly styled Wilson Wilsonite sunglasses. They honestly look like they were the Bausch & Lomb/Ray-Ban variant available at the time. However, it’s important to note that these are not likely MacArthur’s own personal pair of civilian Ray-Ban’s, rather they are probably a military issued option that was either popular, most readily available, or preferred by MacArthur personally at the time.

Some believe that MacArthur’s famous sunglasses might have been a pair of American Optical frames as they look similar to their later issue military design they call the “General”, but I cannot find any evidence of this. Honestly, If you wanted to get the MacArthur style, either the American Optical General or a pair of traditional Ray-Ban Aviators would do the trick. Interestingly enough, in 1987 Ray-Ban came out with a 50thanniversary piece they also entitled the “General” that was meant as a tribute to MacArthur. For some reason though, they decided to keep the sweat guard, which was typically absent in the most popular photos of MacArthur. The Ray-Ban “General” model was updated once after that, however, and is still available as of 2020 on their website, but this time in a more squared lens frame shape, reminiscent of their “Caravan” model, which also has its own strange history associated with it.

Now, I don’t want to get too off track with this retelling here, but I think it is important to point out and has quite a bit of context to where we are going with all of this. The design of the AN6531 remained the same and continued to be issued for military use throughout the 1950’s. However, throughout the 40’s and 50’s the helmets that the Air Force was using evolved from crude leather and fabric into plastics which incorporated advancements in communication, oxygen, and wind protection technologies. With the changes in helmet design, the AN6531 proved incompatible and a new type of aviator sunglasses were developed. The solution was the military designed HGU-4/P, which was recommended for use on November 5th 1958. 

Of course, one year before that Ray-Ban had come out with a similar design, their Ray-Ban Caravan model. And yet, who did the Military choose as their first contract to develop the design and manufacture of the new HGU-4/P? You guessed it, American Optical. Thus, we seem to have another story of Ray-Ban releasing a pair of sunglasses similarly styled to a standard issue military pair that was likely, already in development or at least being thought about. Did Ray-Ban know about the theHGU-4/P and was the design far enough along that the overall square structure could have been “borrowed”? Once more, we will probably never know. But, what we do know is that Bausch & Lomb was once again not chosen for the project and the HGU-4/P, which would become known as the American Optical “Original Pilot” sunglasses were the first sunglasses worn on the moon. So, there’s always that.

But, let’s get back to MacArthur and his contribution to the popularity of the Aviator sunglasses. Even if MacArthur was wearing Bausch & Lomb/Ray-Ban aviators when he landed on the beach in the Philippines in 1944, that detail is not likely something that would have been noticed by consumers in the 1940’s, as there were other brands making very similarly styled aviators at the time. Additionally, while MacArthur might have been the most popular instance of the use of aviator sunglasses, he was far from the first. The public had undoubtedly been seeing military men wearing their various issued aviators for some time now, and the style would have already been a part of the civilian vernacular, most likely in the form of the AN6531. 

When World War II ended in 1945, military surplus aviator sunglasses became readily available, and of course that was a mixture of all the brands that manufactured them during the war. The brands that had not produced civilian models previously now began doing so, and aviators saw something of a boom. One has to remember that sunglasses in the 1940’s were used primarily for medical reasons and for recreational purposes, mostly for sport. In this environment, the aviator would have easily rose to the top compared to the smaller, circular frames that were still the norm for men’s sunglasses at the time. Aviators also became the standard issue for police officers after the war, likely because of the excess supply and their robust quality.

Coupling their usefulness and their ubiquitous availability as well as their connection to a patriotic sentiment and the fact that the country, for the first time in 16 years since the great depression and World War II finally had some money to burn, and it is no wonder why Aviator sunglasses would become the preferred choice for men in the 1940’s and into the 1950’s. It’s interesting to think that it might have even been the overabundance and popularity of the Aviator style in the 40’s that lead to the chic design revolutions of 1950’s sunglasses. Nevertheless, the most popular iteration of the Aviator sunglasses was not yet likely confirmed and Ray-Ban’s would have simply been one of many in the mix and its name not yet tightly connected to the style.

The appeal of Aviators seems to have diminished in the wake of various social and culture changes taking place within the 1950’s and 1960’s. And, while Aviators saw a resurgence in popularity in the 1970’s, it wasn’t until 1986 when my boy Tom Cruise rocked the style in Top Gun that they became a bonafide icon, after which, the words Ray-Ban and Aviator became inseparable, along with the style as we know them today. However, in all likelihood, the straw that broke the camel’s back undoubtedly occurred after the invention of the internet. With every additional article published by every quasi expert in the field of sunglassology, the truth of the history of the Aiator sunglasses slowly became buried and the connection between them and the name Ray-Ban became evermore enhanced.

But, that no longer need be the case. We now know the truth of the matter, or at least, have a better idea of what Ray-Ban’s possible involvement in the development of the Aviator sunglasses could have been. Looking back, we find an origin of the Aviator that stems primarily from protective eyewear, motoring sunglasses and original pilots goggles. The key characteristic traits of a tear drop lens shape, metal frame construction and double bridge design are all derived from before even the first ”official” Aviator sunglasses, the American Optical D-1. Though Ray-Ban may have played some part in the evolution of the design, to what extent is hard to tell, the company is far from the originator of the style, and certainly wasn’t the sole reason they became popular near their inception.

But, as I show in my two other articles on the RayBan Wayfarer and their Clubmaster model, this is not the first time the company has been confused as the creator of a style of sunglasses that they had little input into the actual inception of. And, while Ray-Ban is in no way guilty of perpetuating such myths, at least not outright, they aren’t exactly helping dispel them either. The descriptions of their icons often play off the legends, leading the reader to fill in the gaps with the misinformed information that we ourselves have created. But, isn’t that just as deceptive? Wouldn’t you prefer from a brand with as much presence and influence on the industry as Ray-Ban that they actually do their part to help right such wrongs? Is that too much to ask?

I’ll leave that decision up to you, but I’ll express my perspective on the subject in the form of a quote.

The character Goldfingerin Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name puts it like this:

“Once is Happenstance. Twice is Coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”  

I think I will leave it at that.

As always, I do not allow commenting on my posts or YouTube videos and allow only limited commenting on my Instagram. If you would like to contact me, the best way is to DM me on Instagram. I find this lends towards more civil engagement as well as a more personal connection. I’d love to talk to anyone about this topic or any other, be it from on or off the blog.

Thank you for reading!

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