All American Aviators

Travis Gneiting News

Aviators. Find out why they became so iconic, you might be more patriotic than you think. Read a snipit of American History and check out who made the originals and where you can still these military grade specs today. Stop buying overpriced counterfeits and buy piece of American History.

All American Aviators

Who made the original Aviator?

While there is no shortage beater knock offs and overpriced counterfeits, if you want the original – you’ll need the all-american original standard: Ray-Ban:

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No, it wasn’t Tom Cruise in Top Gun who brought the Aviator to fame, it was World War II Pilots, hence: Aviator.  Aviators were the first sunglasses worn on the Moon, by astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong and can be found in the Smithsonian.  Raymond Tegeman designed the first anti-glare lenses for pilot Lieutenant John. A. Maccready.  It wasn’t just the anti-Glare technology, it was the polarized lens developed with the help of Edwin H. Land, founder of the Polaroid Corporation.  Now let us ask why we didn’t see polarized sunglasses popping up until 10 years ago – the military top-secret thing must really work. What you may not know

Many Pilots retinas had sustained permanent injury from prolonged exposure to the sun.  The Aviator was developed with a signature wide and droopy frame and convex lens, to provide the maximum shield for the aviator’s eyes which frequently glanced downward to the plane’s instrument panel.  Pilot’s were issued the Aviator glasses as manufactured and distributed by Bausch & Lomb with no charge.  In 1937 Aviators were marketed to the public and Ray-Ban was born: Ray (sun rays) Ban (to block the sun).  People have been passing these down through the generations as heirlooms,  and Ray Ban still makes the original style Aviators today to military specifications, although with enhanced quality materials and increased durability.  You can compare these to the knock of by just comparing the weight. Styles come in gold, silver or chrome frames just to name a few – and black silver or copper reflecting lenses just as a few example.  Stop buying cheap knock off’s that will turn into beaters. People have been   Browse through the styles here:

And if you get lost in googling on the internet, don’t get confused –  Bausch & Lomb has sold off to many other companies  namely the Italian Luxottica Group, and American Optical currently has the government contract for military sunglasses – but Ray-Bans are the original!

How Aviators become so popular?

We haven’t seen a trend sweep the streets this bad since everyone was wearing bell bottoms in the 1970’s, yet somehow these bad boys have managed to stay in the limelight longer than Madonna. Although U.S. and French military were all raving fans of the bad boys, when Aviators were first marketed to the public, the civilian population wasn’t so enthused. In fact, back in the 1930’s hardly anyone was really wearing sun glasses. It usually takes a celebrity to make an accessory popular, and it just hadn’t happened yet.

James Dean Sporting Aviators

James Dean Sporting Aviators

Well during World War II in 1940 it wasn’t exactly a celebrity who brought the aviators into the lime light (although Elvis Presley, James Dean and just about everyone else in Hollywood would follow suit), but during World War II hero and American General Douglas MacArthur. Photos of the general sporting the specs circulated in newspapers across the globe – sales started soaring.

Traction in the 60’s and 70’s gains when rock stars Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Freddie Mercury wore them all over the world. After movie stars Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards wore Aviators in the cult  movie “Top Gun,” sales skyrocketed. Featured in “The Big Lebowski,” Aviators were marketed to a different crowd. they became the rage to wear all over again.

This is the pic that brought the Aviator into the Lime Light. General Douglas MacArthur, World War II.

This is the World War II pic of American General Douglas that brought the Aviator into the Lime Light.

Since then it has been a viral addiction. Aviators have been solidified as the most recognizable sunglasses in the world. Seems they are a part of standard uniform for cops (at least portrayed in Hollywood) and are seen in all generations of new celebrities from Brad Pitt to Megan fox and Taylor Swift, and even the teeny bopper boy bands.


Interesting facts:

Elvis Presley: Elvis was arguably the most famous celebrity to wear the aviators, and undeniably wore them more frequently than any other celebrity. A controversial photo of was a photo of 8Elvis Presley arrested in 1956 for fighting with 2 gas attendants in Memphis. THIS shot was taken in 1970 at the FBI headquarters in Washington DC. Being a nut for guns and badges, he had these taken on a visit to President Nixon.

Elvis Presley Arrested

Elvis Presley Arrested

UNABOMBER: The U.S. government is sold the Aviator’s and other personal effects of  Unambomber Ted Kaczynski, America’s most notorious technophobe, in an online auction. Goods include the hoodie and the aviator glasses that may or may not be the sweatshirt and the aviator glasses

Unabomber's Aviators and Hoodie were sold in an Online Auction

Unabomber’s Aviators and Hoodie were sold in an Online Auction