Saddle Bridge Glasses

A popular feature of antique glasses at Vintage Eyeglass Warehouse are the saddle bridges. Unlike modern glasses with nose pads, these glasses have a curved metal piece for the bridge. The saddle bridge is a distinguishing feature for many vintage glasses and is a starting point for customers looking for retro eyeglasses for everyday wear or as part of costume.

We offer vintage rimmed and rimless saddle bridge glasses, many dating before the 1920s. Our current inventory is below, but also updates regularly as we find more glasses to restore, so if you can’t find your ideal style now, check back regularly to find your perfect pair of saddle glasses.

About Our Collection of Saddle Bridge Glasses

Before the invention of nose pads in 1921, the bridge that connected the lenses was a solid piece of metal. The most popular bridge style was the saddle bridge. This simple bridge curved in a U-shape or W-shape and rested on top of the nose. Saddle bridges were used on:

  • Round Glasses 
  • Rimless Glasses
  • Windsor Glasses
  • Gold Frame Glasses

The bridge style was also used for horn rimmed glasses and cat eye glasses later in the 20th century, although these styles were a dramatic departure from antique saddle bridge glasses.

While it was helpful in keeping glasses from sliding down, the saddle bridge was otherwise not very effective for keeping glasses in place. Glasses manufacturers often added features like riding bow temples – curved to fit over the ears – to help keep these early glasses in place.

The saddle bridge keeps glasses close to the face. It is also a comfortable bridge style because it disperses the weight of the glasses across the nose rather than condensing it to smaller nose pads. Particularly with the heavier weight of antique metal glasses, this extra feature makes them better for long-term wear.

While nose pads made the saddle bridge less popular, the bridge type never went away. The shape was ideal for the lightweight plastic glasses in the 1950s and onward, and is still used in many sunglasses and reading glasses today.

We sell a range of saddle bridge glasses from vintage eyeglasses to retro Winsor-style John Lennon glasses and rimless Steve Jobs glasses. See our selection of saddle bridge glasses on this page and browse our website for many other antique glasses using this popular bridge style.