Fashion Friday: American Optical Company

By Lauren Donia

Looking for an American-made pair of aviator-style sunglasses? Look no further than American Optical’s ‘Original Pilot Sunglasses®.’ Not only are these glasses made in Southbridge, MA, they’re also steeped in American history.

William Beecher started the American Optical Company (AO) in 1826. Since then American Optical has, literally, been a part of history.

During World War I, the folks at AO made eight “mobile optical units” for allied forces and troops. AO researched brand new technologies to share during World War II. According to the company’s website:

"This development work allowed AO to supply the US Government with new products including gun sights, bombsights, AR glass, aviation goggles, sunglasses and precision optics for military and instrument applications.”

In 1969 Commander Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11 wore AO’s Original Pilot in space, making it the first sunglasses to land on the moon. That pair can now be seen in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

If you're looking for a pair of American-made sunglasses check out American Optical’s website here.

Image taken from American Optical's page on Partisan Style.