Bausch & Lomb has been a pioneer in optical technology for almost 200 years with defining styles like cat eye glasses from the 1950s and 60s, Aviators, and Wayfarers. Our collection of Bausch & Lomb glasses at Eyeglasses Warehouse are true vintage pieces, reclaimed and restored by our team.
Eyeglasses Warehouse has the widest online selection of vintage frames, all suited for daily wear with your preferred lenses. See our selection here and bookmark our site to be the first to discover new glasses.
About Bausch & Lomb Eyeglasses
Bausch & Lomb had its start in 1853 when German immigrant John Jacob Bausch started an optical shop in New York. Henry Lomb bought into the company when he loaned Bausch $60 and the company quickly grew. Their initial offering was monocles, although they had expanded to eyeglasses and other products like microscopes, camera lenses, and binoculars by 1900.
While Bausch & Lomb was a respected eyewear brand, one of their most important contributions to eyeglasses was their development of optical quality glass in 1902, making them the first American company to do so. Prior to this, eyeglasses lenses had to be ground and polished. Now, Bausch & Lomb made the lens shape with molten glass.
The process was faster and cheaper, but also removed the limitations of lens grinding technology that required eyeglass lenses to be small, such as those seen in Civil War era eyeglasses. As the 1900s progressed, this new manufacturing process enabled glasses to take up more space on the wearer’s face and led to the use of glasses as a fashion accessory.
Through WWI, WWII, and later wars, much of Bausch & Lomb’s business was for the military. Their Ray-Ban sunglass line was first developed for pilots, but soon became a defining style for fashionable vintage sunglasses.
Glasses Styles from Bausch & Lomb
In addition to their work on lenses and other optical technology, Bausch & Lomb is well known for a few styles of vintage eyeglasses:
- Cat Eye Glasses – Bausch and Lomb cat eye glasses were an iconic style of 1950s and 1960s womens glasses with flared corners, bright colors, and decoration.
- Aviator Glasses – Originally designed for military pilots, Bausch & Lomb patented their aviator sunglasses in 1939. Commercial glasses used a thin metal frame to make the stand out brow bar. Aviators were a popular style in the 1950s, 70s, and 80s.
- Wayfarer Glasses – Bausch & Lomb released their Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses in 1956. They had trapezoidal lenses (basically square glasses), a thick black frame, and dark lenses for a decidedly masculine style, although the lens colors soon had more options. Wayfarers were the dominant style of men’s sunglasses in the 1950s and 60s.
You may also find antique wire rim glasses, browline glasses, and other vintage eyeglasses made by Bausch & Lomb. The company has consistently manufactured high quality frames that have lasted through the decades and are still attractive today.
Here at Eyeglasses Warehouse, we carefully select authentic Bausch & Lomb glasses to restore and offer on our website. Our selection includes stylish eyeglass and sunglass frames from many eras. Check out the inventory on our site to add vintage glasses to your wardrobe.