In addition to antique spectacles and vintage sunglasses, Eyeglasses Warehouse offers safety goggles. Willson Products designed safety goggles for drivers, pilots, motorcycle riders, factory workers, and more. Vintage safety goggles at Eyeglasses Warehouse are a unique collectors’ item or a one-of-a-kind accessory for vintage costumes or steampunk style.
See our collection of safety goggles and sunglasses, and bookmark this page to have the first chance at new styles.
About Willson Safety Goggles
Dr. Thomas Willson and his father Giles Willson founded their optical lens company in 1871 in Pennsylvania. Beyond their optical lenses for glasses, they started to develop safety tools for factory workers and miners who were working in extremely hazardous conditions at the time. Willson safety goggles, and later ear and respiratory protection, helped save the health of thousands of workers and miners.
With the invention of the motorcar, protective goggles soon became a must for drivers. Cars at the time were open, and unpaved roads meant that drivers were exposed to dust and rocks. Willson began designing their lines of goggles specifically for motorists, motorcyclists, and bicyclists.
They also produced a line of sunglasses in the late 1930s, just as sunglasses were beginning to become an accessory instead of simply a health tool. The 1938 Miss America Pageant contestants wore Willson sunglasses that year, helping to further promote the brand.
At the same time, Willson Products partnered with the military to design pilot goggles and altitude masks for the aviators of WWII.
Willson’s standard vintage goggle design featured round lenses with side protection shields made of leather, aluminum, or steel. They were often outfitted with cable temples to help keep the goggles in place while flying, driving, or riding a motorcycle. For WWII aviator goggles, Willson used a double bridge, similar in style to the aviator glasses that pilots wore.
Vintage safety goggles are a rarity. Companies made fewer goggles than sunglasses, and their use in the military and motoring means fewer survived. But the Willson goggles in existence today are high quality, and a unique accessory for costumes, steampunk attire, or quirky day wear. Safety goggles from Eyeglasses Warehouse can often have the lenses changed out for prescription glasses or lenses in your preferred color.
Willson safety goggles are in demand, and those in our inventory may sell quickly. We recommend checking back frequently to find your perfect pair.