Who were Bausch and Lomb?
John Jacob Bausch was originally from Germany, and he emigrated to the USA. He had a small business, in Rochester New York, that sold optical supplies. He was given financial backing from Henry Lomb to expand the business. They in turn made a partnership called Bausch & Lomb and opened a retail store together.
Their expertise was focussed on manufacturing and selling spectacles, microscopes, telescopes, and they even moved into photographic lenses. Anything that required a lens, they had it covered. When William Bausch, John's Son, came on board he developed a technique to make lenses from molten glass. This innovative technique improved the lens and made the need for grinding and polishing redundant, making production times far quicker and cheaper.
Who owns the Ray-Ban brand now?
These days, Ray-Ban is owned by a company called Luxottica Group S.p.A., the world's largest eyewear company, founded in 1961 in Agordo, Italy.
Alongside the Ray-Ban brand, they also own other big name eyewear companies such as, Persol and Oakley, Inc. Plus, they also make sunglasses and frames for a multitude of designer brands such as Chanel and Prada.
Global revenues of Luxottica in 2020 amounted to approximately 7.7 billion euros, only slightly impacted by the pandemic. See the chart below, detailing the volume of sales from 2007 to 2020.
The History of Ray-Ban Glasses
Bausch & Lomb made a huge contribution in both World Wars developing and manufacturing optical instruments for the military and in 1929 they were commissioned to make glasses for US Army Air Corps pilots to help reduce glare and the fogging up of their glasses when on flying missions.
How did Ray-Bans Get Their Name?
The name Ray-Ban, which seems so obvious when it is pointed out, comes from the lens's ability to block out infrared rays of light and ultraviolet light. Literally to BAN the RAYS! With this, a cool iconic name was born. Something that we all use frequently without thinking about the actual meaning behind it. It is the aptest of names for such an innovative lens in that era.
The Aviator was developed for these pilots and this is where one of Ray-Ban's best-known sunglasses began. The Aviator is still just as popular today with its mirrored lenses and steel frames becoming a firm favourite across the globe.
Ray Ban Bestsellers
The two models that have made Ray-Ban the most famous sunnies in the world has to be The Aviator , as previously mentioned, but also The Wayfarer . The Wayfarer has that 1950's feel and was immortalised by the likes of James Dean. My personal favourite has to be the Ray-Ban Jackie OHH. They share the heavy frame with The Wayfarer but are slightly more feminine with rounded lenses and come in two different sizes.
Iconic Ray Bans in Movies
There are so many Hollywood movies that have cemented Ray-Ban's status as a brand icon. From James Dean in 'Rebel Without a Cause', Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' and Tom Cruise rocking The Aviator in the incomparable 'Top Gun'.
The legendary 'Blues Brothers' image of Dan Akroyd and John Belushi has been a poster classic for decades; both are wearing the black Wayfarer models and are the epitome of cool! So many others have joined in the trend.
Ray-Ban is the ultimate accessory for the rich and famous and countless celebrities have donned these powerhouse shades over the past 70 years from US Presidents, John F Kennedy, to World Heavy Weight Boxing Champion, the legend that is Mohammed Ali. In more modern times we have seen everyone from Kanye West to Taylor Swift rocking a pair.
Good deals on Ray-Bans
You certainly get what you pay for when it comes to glasses and if you invest in a pair of these superior quality glasses, looked after properly they will last years. There are some good deals to be had and but make sure that you buy from reputable retailers to avoid fakes.
Sunglasses Hut stocks a huge range of Ray-Bans and there are often reductions on offer. Currently, you can save £30.00 on both The Wayfarer and Jackie Ohh II.
Most opticians will also have a staple range of Ray-Ban spectacles as well as sunglasses, that you can have your prescription lenses put into. Boots always have a steady supply of new styles and frames to choose from.
Now I am an everyday spectacle wearer I would not be without my trusty Ray-Ban sunglasses and reading glasses. I have flirted with other brands but also return and cannot see my head turning anytime soon.