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Unexpected Facts About Vintage Frames

At Ed & Sarna Vintage Eyewear we are always looking into the weird and wonderful world of glasses frames and sunglasses. If you worship vintage eyewear as much as we do, you are bound to enjoy these 16 secrets about eyewear let us know how many you knew about already.

1. The Term Glasses Is Incorrect

The term glasses is technically incorrect

Whilst originally the phrase glasses was coined due to the glass lenses used to correct vision. Today 99.9% of modern eyewear is now fitted with highly resistant resin which is a far superior material to glass for corrective eyewear. But let's keep calling them glasses shall we as it sounds a lot better than resins!


2. Sunglasses add symmetry to your face.

Cindy Crawford in Vintage Sunglasses

You've probably heard that how attractive we find strangers is strongly correlated with their facial symmetry. We all find order aesthetically pleasing, and a face whose two sides are very uniform has a natural allure Vintage eyewear increases this natural symmetry by providing 2 identical shapes right across your face, so wear your specs on your next date night and get ready for fireworks!


3. Some houses cost less than a pair of shades!

The most expensive sunglasses ever sold - Chopard

The world record for the most expensive pair of sunglasses ever sold is set at over £270,000 for these jewel incrusted Chopard frames. You can’t have luxury sunglasses made out of plain jane, cheap materials. Chopard, who are known for their glasses and accessories made from gold that has been ethically sourced, partnered with De Rigo, who are known for their exceptional eyewear to create the worlds most expensive sunglasses. The Chopard De Rigo glasses command their fee because their makers are known worldwide for their stunning taste. The glasses themselves are made with sixty grams of 24k gold and fifty-one individual cut four-carat River diamonds. More than two-hundred carats of diamonds make for a lot of glitter to go with all the gold.


4. We break our frames more than you would guess.

Damn I broke my sunglasses again.

We are a clumsy lot for sure with a pair being broken every 14 minutes! That is over 37,000 pairs being busted every year. At Ed and Sarna Vintage eyewear we offer an oops promise, if you accidentally break or lose your frames in the first year of purchase get in touch and we will give you a 50% code to use against your next pair to soften the blow. Just try to be more careful with your new pair!


5. RayBan is not the original king of the sky.

RayBan Aviators were not the first

Despite what RayBan would like you to believe they were not the first to manufacture the classic aviator it was actually made by American Optical back in 1933 before RayBan was even incorporated. Check out the history of the aviator frame in our blog post here.


6. Dior was the first major Couture brand to get into sunglasses design and manufacture.

Dior the first to make designer sunglasses

Designer sunglasses were technically invented by Christian Dior when in the early 60s they licensed their branding to be used to produce luxury sunglasses for discerning fashionistas. At Ed and Sarna Vintage we have over 100 unworn vintage Christian Dior sunglasses and glasses frames available so check out the collection today and get a certifiable piece of eyewear history.


7. Demo lenses in frames serve a vital purpose.

Demo lenses in glasses prevent warping

Ever wondered why glasses frames cover with the clear plastic resin inside when they will only be popped out immediately and discarded when you go to your optician? Well ponder no longer these thin sheets of resin are there to prevent frame warping and adjustment occurring whilst they are in storage, transit or exposed to different temperatures.


8. Benjamin Franklin did more than just help found America.

Benjamin Franklin the inventor of the bi-focal lenses.

A man whose career puts almost anyone to shame not only did he invent lightning rods and help found modern America he is also credited with creating the first bi-focal lenses!


9. The matrix was actually all about sunglasses.

The matrix movie holds the record for the most sunglasses in a film

The iconic Wachowski brothers' movie actually holds the record for the most sunglasses ever featured in one movie. Also a bonus fact for you, you can actually tell if a character is a good guy or bad guy by the shape of the frames they are wearing. All of your favourites are wearing rounded or oval shapes whereas the agents are only seen in rectangular models.


10. STDs can affect the global demand for sunglasses!

STDs and sunglasses

A little known fact about syphilis is that when left untreated if massively increases a patients sensitivity to light. Bizarrely wearing sunglasses became fashionable for a period in the 19th century as if you were wearing shades then you were getting laid!


11. Sunglasses are not a modern invention.

Original Inuit Sunglasses

An ingenious design to prevent sun blindness in the harsh arctic conditions these frames with tiny slits in the bone are the first recorded sunglasses ever made.


12. We should all try harder to reduce our waste.

The amount of sunglasses and eyeglasses going to landfill

We still send far too much product to landfill and eyewear is no exception. That is why shopping for vintage eyewear and vintage fashion really helps to reduce the burden on resources we all place upon the planet. The good news is that when you shop at Ed and Sarna you not only get the coolest vintage frames known to mankind you also help to save the planet!


13. Unique eyewear is not as easy to find as it used to be.

Luxottica - Essilor make up 70% of global frame production

Since their merger was announced in 2017 it has marked a turning point in the eyewear industry as a whole. This one company produce RayBan, Micheal Kors, Oakley, Chanel, Prada, Ralph Lauren and hundreds more. On top of this, they own Sunglasses Hut, Lenscrafters and Sears Optical. Sadly with one company wielding so much power over production, design and also retail outlets, smaller boutique firms are restricted in growth and simply cannot compete which leads to the consumer losing out. At Ed & Sarna vintage our vintage eyeglasses and vintage sunglasses all predate the major Luxottica mergers that occurred during the late 90s. A time when designers had more freedom and the variety of competition helped to encourage more outrageous and fun designs.


14. Sunglass lenses origins lie in the Chinese court system.

Chinese 12th Century courtesans wear smokey quartz

Judges in 12th century China were the first recorded examples of using tinted lenses. They were said to have used a piece of smoked quartz to shield their faces to help disguise their reactions to defendants on trial.


15. Bad eyesight is extremely common and affects over 1 billion people.

25% of the worlds population need some type of glasses to correct their vision.

Over a quarter of the world's population need some type of eyewear support and literally everyone should wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays. Luckily gone are the days when you were dispensed one style of frame and given milk bottle lenses as standard. Now you can choose from millions of different eyewear designs at all kinds of price points. Obviously, if you want to find new old stock vintage eyewear then Ed and Sarna Vintage is the place to be.


16. Wearing shades is damn sexy.

Sunglasses make you sexier

In a study conducted by Vanessa Brown, a cultural researcher at Nottingham Trent University who wrote the book Cool Shades: The History and Meaning of Sunglasses, theorizes that sunglasses cachet comes from a sense of mystery. By partially hiding the face, they invite curiosity.

Mystery and curiosity play a key role in human sexual desire. That's the hypothesis of psychology researchers at the University of Nevada. In other words, what people find sexy may have a lot more to do with what's hidden than what's on display.


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