The glasses styles from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s have a lasting appeal. Horn rimmed glasses, cat eye glasses, and rimless glasses are as appreciated today as they were when they first debuted. But similar styles made today will never have the classic look of authentic vintage glasses like those made by companies like Imperial Optical.
Eyeglasses Warehouse is the top online retailer of vintage and retro eyeglass frames. We carry a selection of carefully restored glasses from Imperial Optical and other brands producing the most eye-catching glasses in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. If you do not see the right pair of glasses you need today, we encourage you to bookmark our page to be the first to see new glasses as we add them.
About Vintage Glasses Crafted by Imperial Optical
Imperial Optical was an eyeglasses manufacturer based out of Hialeah, FL, near Miami, in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. During this time period, they produced optical quality frames in many of the styles that were popular at the time. These included:
- Horn Rimmed Glasses – During the 1950s and 1960s, Imperial Optical produced their 660 model, a popular style similar to Ray-Ban Wayfarers or Tart Arnel glasses with squared brows and curved lower frames and a keyhole bridge rather than nose pads. The plastic frames generally came in black, brown, or wood grain and Imperial Optical included steel rivets for ornamentation.
- Cat Eye Glasses – A popular style for women’s glasses in the 1950s, cat eye glasses had dramatic upswept frames, often with engravings, filigree, rhinestones, and other decoration at the corners. Imperial Optical made attractive cat eye glasses with gold top pieces as well as plastic.
- Rimless Glasses – Rimless glasses remained in style as a more subtle look as bold styles like cat eye and brow line glasses took over during the 50s and 60s. Rimless glasses often included gold filled bridges, temples, and hardware.
- Semi-Rimless Glasses – Semi-rimless glasses had lenses surrounded by a metal wire on only one side. During the 1970s, Imperial Optical made glasses with the rim on the bottom, a departure from the early style of semi-rimless glasses and a design unique to the decade.
Like other contemporary manufacturers, Imperial Optical used plastic for many of their eyeglass frames for men and women, particularly the horn rimmed style. Cat eye glasses and metal glasses came in plastic, 12k gold, and steel, and aluminum.
With their range of popular shapes, Imperial Optical glasses are a great option when you want an authentic pair of vintage glasses in a recognizable style. They are rarer than other brands as the company never reached the sales of Bausch and Lomb or ArtCraft, but those glasses that have survived are high quality and attractive. Once our team handles any necessary restoration and cleaning, each of our Imperial Optical glasses are ready for wear.
Glasses from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s make a realistic prop for movies, television, and theater, but they are also a fun way to add vintage flair to your eyewear. You can take any pair of glasses purchased from Eyeglasses Warehouse to your local optician to fit them with your prescription lenses or transform them into a pair of retro sunglasses.
Check out what we have in stock today, and browse similar brands like B&L, Ray-Ban, ArtCraft, and Tura to find more vintage glasses from the mid-1900s.