HOW THESE SUN­GLASSES HELPED WIN WWII

Men's Health (Singapore) - - STYLE -

Be­fore movie stars wore them, avi­a­tors were built for (you guessed it) ac­tual avi­a­tors. In 1936, with war loom­ing in Europe, Amer­i­can fly­boys got some ground-break­ing gear from Bausch & Lomb, based in Rochester, New York. The com­pany de­signed a new style of sun­glasses for mil­i­tary pi­lots, which later be­came the iconic RayBan. The re­sult­ing shape fit snugly and had a green tint that fil­tered glare with­out ham­per­ing over­all vi­sion. In World War II, when pi­lots were nav­i­gat­ing in planes like the B-17 Fly­ing Fortress, they got a lit­tle help from gra­di­ent mir­rored lenses. These blocked the sun on the up­per part of the lens, but the lower part of the lens was un­coated so pi­lots could see their con­trol pan­els. The square­lensed Car­a­van style fol­lowed in the ‘50s, and the Olympian frame--with its iconic curved bridge--came in the ‘60s. Pi­lot’s man­ual not in­cluded.

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