Vintage Sunglasses Lens

Nothing looks  better than a pair of authentic vintage sunglasses, but do they offer the protection you need?

Authentic Vintage Sunglasses
Vintage Sunglasses

Frames made before the 1980’s have no UV protection and if your eyeglasses are older that 1999 the protection may be wearing off.  That’s right!  UV protection wears off with use.

UV radiation affects your eyes the same it does your skin.  Wearing sunglasses without UV protection is worse for your eyes than not wearing sunglasses because the darker lens will cause your pupil to dilate which allows the sun to do more damage to your retina. Happily, UV protection is simply a coating on your lens. It can be applied to vintage lens by a process called reglazing .  Or you can have the old lenses removed and replaced with modern polarized lenses.  I prefer getting my lenses replaced.

Why risk your vision?  Lens replacement does not take away the uniqueness of your vintage sunglasses frame.  You’ll be safe and able to enjoy your vintage glasses for years to come.

Rebel Without a Cause

James Byron Dean went from a farm-yard in Indiana to New York City just out of grade school.   From New York, where he has a few bit parts and a couple of small rolls on Broadway, he traveled 218to Hollywood for his break out fame as Jim Stark in “Rebel Without a Cause”.   Throughout this time he developed that brooding serious look, topped of with a beautiful pair of American Optical glasses.

In California, James continued his education, going to Santa Monica Community College and UCLA, acting in school plays.  Through friends he snagged a bit part in a Pepsi commercial that developed into a second commercial where he danced around the jukebox while singing the Pepsi jingle.  That same producer hired him as the Apostle John in an Easter production.

All though he had a brief career staring in only 3 movies, “Rebel Without a Cause”, ”East of Eden” and ”Giant”,  he became the poster boy for the  nonconformist, angry youth of the 1950s. Known as the “first American teenager”, he is the only actor to be post humorously nominated “Best Actor” for 2 of his movies.

James Dean, an american icon, met his match September 30, 1955 while driving his Porsche 550 Spyder , named “Little Bastard”, along a roadway 80 miles from Bakersfield, California.  Only two hours before he had been ticketed for speeding.  The impact caused severe vertebra and internal damages snuffing out his brief but dynamic career at the age of 24.

Known for his love of racing, he had been barred from undertaking this dangerous sport while under contract for the movie “Giant”.   After wrapping up the film he was on his way to Salinas, California for a car race.



A Collector is Born

My father grew up in the depression era and never threw away anything that might be of use  some day.  Little did he know, he started me on a wonderful adventure of vintage eyeglasses frame collecting. Thank you dad for being thrifty!

Like most children, there came a time when I was called to help clean up and clear out our dad’s stash of old belongings.  My job was sorting the closet and dresser.  I slowly worked my way through a multitude of trinkets, awards and pictures.  All that was left was the bottom drawer.  Little did I know, it held my future obsession.  There sat a bag of old eyeglasses frames. Most were military styles that looked like they belonged to Buddy Holly or Clark Kent. But way in the bottom of the bag were my first eyeglasses frames, baby blue cat eyes, and some of my mothers rhinestone studded cat eye readers. Oh, the memories that flooded my mind. I was taken back to a time of crazy cat styles and horn rimmed heaven, poodle skirts and lettermen jackets.

A collector was born.  Through the years I searched garage sales, estate sales, and eBay.  The best place I found for vintage eyeglasses was the  “old eBay”, before it was flooded with knock-offs and big business. There were loads of folks selling things they had around the house, I often discovered one or two pairs listed by folks, like me, who were going through grandpa’s or their father’s old stash of eyeglasses frames.

When my collecting got out of control I began selling some of my eyeglasses styles as Fifties Frames Vintage Eyeglasses.   I remind myself that sharing my collection keeps vintage style alive.  Vintage and retro eyeglasses are both beautiful and distinctive.  Invest, in the past and share true retro and vintage style by wearing vintage eyeglasses frames.


Shuron Ronsir Glasses Have Star Quality

Shuron Ronsir vintage eyeglasses frames
Shuron Ronsir worn by Kevin Costner in JFK.Kevin Costner looking great wearing  Shuron Ronsir vintage eyeglasses frames.

The Ronsir is a classic style by Shuron and the perfect choice for Kevins  part as Jim Garrison, DA in the 1991 classic JFK.

The Shuron Ronsir eyeglasses frame was designed by Jack Rohrbach in the 1940’s and are still popular to this day. There has been no need to improve on perfection.  Generally considered combination for the combining of metal rims topped off with plastic browlines and temples.  No matter what you call them, they are amazing.  The Ronsir eyeglasses frame comes in a variety of colors with a large assortment of temple styles.  Vintage eyeglasses are harder to find, but Shuron does still made the Ronsir if you have fallen in love.

The Ronsir in vintage is difficult to find.  We list them as soon as we get them.  They go fast.  Please check our site for our latest listing.

Fashion First – Birth of the Cat Eye

Cat eye glasses
Cat eye glasses

Above all else, Fashion First.

Oh how very excited we were when glasses became a fashion statement. No longer were we slaves to eyeglass frames borrowed from men, pared down to fit our delicate features. We had come into our own! We had made our mark. We are women, Hear Us Roar!
And so, we have the artists of the 1950’s to thank for unleashing our sexuality and daring us to strut our stuff. There were, of course, degrees of swing, but we all strutted none the less.  We all got in line to taste the freedom. We all got in line to push that envelope.

This doesn’t seem so daring these days, but wearing a sassy pair of cat eye eyeglass frames in the 1950s was a statement of your sexuality.  A statement that women were different and they want to be seen for who they are.

Cat eyes weren’t just put on with a particular dress or outfit.  No, they were worn every day, every night.  They became a part of you.  They became your mode of always putting Fashion First.

Ray-Ban by Bausch & Lomb

Vintage Ray-Ban originated 1920s
Vintage Ray-Ban originated 1920s

Bausch & Lomb is the original manufacturer of the Ray-Ban brand. Back in the 1920-30’s the Army Air Corps were in dire need of eye wear to help prevent headaches and mind numbing nausea.  Bausch & Lomb developed a plastic anti-glare green lens.  The lenses were tested extensively and found to be extremely helpful .  The original frame was plastic, but in the mid 30’s the metal style aviator, that we know today, took shape.  Bausch & Lomb took out a patent for the Ray-Ban Aviator in 1937.

It wasn’t long before the Aviator was discovered by sportsmen.  This brought a few tweaks like a sweat bar and different styles temples.  And so, the love of Ray-Ban extended from pilot necessity of safety to enhancement of vision for sports and pleasure.

The Wayfarer came into creation in the early 50s and is a classic worn to this very day.  Hollywood discovered them and they were worn by many actors like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe.  Musicians picked up the style and ran with it.  I’m sure you remember seeing them on Roy Orbison, Bob Marley and Bob Dylan.

After the 60s Ray-Ban Wayfarer went quite.  They weren’t forefront in popularity until their revival in the early 80s.  We began seeing them again in movies and their popularity surged with a series of commercial endeavors proclaiming “Never pretend.  Never be afraid.  Never give up.  Never hide”.  Great words of wisdom then and certainly words to live by now.  Remember seeing the Wayfarer in the movies: Blues Brothers, Reservoir Dogs and Risky Business?  Yep, that’s what Tom Cruise was wearing besides his tighty-whities.

Before the year 2000 Bausch & Lomb sold the Ray-Ban product brand to an Italian eyeglass maker.  Luxottica continues to own the brand to this day.  It’s nice to think back and remember that the green anti glare sunglasses len was originated in the USA.

Girlfriends in Cat Eyes – Marilyn & Lauren

GirfriendsGirlfriends know how to have fun. Nothing goes better together than girlfriends and fifties cat eyes. Here are Marilyn and Lauren flaunting their fun for all to see.  Classic style eyeglasses and lots of smiles.

Fifties fashion isn’t complete without awesome authentic vintage eyeglasses.  Lots of outlets out there have copied the styles, but authentic vintage adds a priceless seal of approval for any true lover of rockabilly, roller derby and all that is original from the 50’s.

Visit Fifties Frames Vintage Eyeglasses  for your vintage glasses.  Be authentic in all you do.  Wear your fifties cat eyes with a smile.

Rockin’ Readers – Fifties Eyeglasses

Vintage May Optical

Everyone, at some point in their life, wishes they could see better while reading. Some folks add a bifocal lens to their run-of-the-mill eyeglasses frame.   While others buy cheap drug store readers, to improve their reading experience a select few opt for vintage fifties reading eyeglasses frames.

Why should your readers be boring? There’s no need for that when you can get awesome, stylish, crazy reading eyeglasses frames from Fifties Frames Vintage Eyeglasses. Here’s where you’ll find every style of reader frame imaginable. Pick up some with rhinestones!  If you need reading glasses, at least look your best while sporting “granny” glasses.  No one said that granny had to look boring!  Spice it up with vintage eyeglass frames.

Fifties Frames in Cinema – “Carney’s Point”

“Carney’s Point”, a 16 mm short film produced in conjunction with Syracuse University, will make its rounds to film festivals. Written into the script was the opportunity for the character, a young girl, to wear 1950’s horn-rimmed glasses. Fifties Frames Vintage Eyeglasses was honored to donated a pair of glasses to enable the film to maintain authenticity in depicting a true representation of the 1950’s.

Here’s your opportunity to see their young actress with authentic vintage glasses from Fifties Frames.