American brand of sunglasses founded in 1937 by Bausch & Lomb. They were introduced for the United States Army Air Corps. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian Luxottica Group for a reported $640 million.
Ray-Bans were first created in 1936. Some years earlier, Lieutenant John A. Macready (an American test pilot) returned from a balloon flight, complained that the sun had permanently damaged his eyes, and contacted Bausch & Lomb asking them to create sunglasses that would provide protection and also look sophisticated. On May 7, 1937, Bausch & Lomb took out the patent, and the Aviator was made available to the public. The prototype, known as Anti-Glare, had a frame weighing 150 grams.
They were made of gold-plated metal with green lenses made of mineral glass to filter out infrared and ultraviolet rays. Pilots in the United States Army Air Corps immediately adopted the sunglasses.The army wanted sunglasses that would protect the soldiers’ eyes from harmful light while maintaining a stylish look. The Ray-Ban Aviator became a well-known style of sunglasses when General Douglas MacArthur landed on the beach in the Philippines in World War II, and photographers snapped several pictures of him wearing them. Ray-Bans were quickly seen outside the army. They quickly gained popularity through other wars and even made a debut in the movies.In 1952, Ray-Ban created another style, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, this time with plastic frames, which became popular soon after its release.
By 1962, Ray-Ban started to create impact-resistant lenses. It was not until ten years later when the United States of America made impact-resistant eye wear mandatory through the FDA regulation. Wayfarer sunglasses were seen on movie stars, TV stars, and musicians.Ray-Ban still remains a top designer in the sunglasses industry with its constant changes of color, frames, and lenses.