History Comes Alive Via Eyewear! Part 1: Windsors Oval Metal Frames
One of the hallmarks of our best selling frames and eyewear have been their historical lineage. We believe that the classic eyewear styles -- similar to suits, dresses, shoes, ties and other accessories -- will always have a place on the face of men and women who enjoy fashion that projects a familiar sense of traditional ideals. Of course, we've updated these frames using superior modern materials such as cellulose acetate, zyl and titanium. And our lenses are made using the latest plastics and poly carbonates.
In addition, we also favor developing frames that have been made famous by specific individuals of high achievement or acclaim. Eyeglasses worn by statesmen, actors, musicians and others are included in our portfolio of eyewear. We know there are many who admire such fashion statements, and wish to incorporate those styles into their own wardrobe and make it their own.
To highlight this rich history, we're beginning a series of posts about the origins of some of the eye frames in our portfolio:
Windsors: 18th Century Oval Metal Eyewear
Oval metal frames were one of the earliest eyewear developed in North America. We associate these frames with Ben Franklin, who developed the first reader magnifying lenses in North America. In fact, he called his spectacles "focusers", and since we admire Ben so much we took that name for our company and use Ben's likeness in our logo!
Windsors are the frames that a well-to-do 17th century craftsman, attorney or banker might have worn, to help them see their work more clearly or to read the details of a contract or case. Like the originals, our Windsors are made to be both elegant and sturdy. Later on, coiled wrap-around temples were added to such frames so they'd be held in place while riding a horse or in a horse-drawn carriage.
In the colonial era, there were no appropriate materials for nose pads, so our Windsors have the authentic saddle bridge that rests comfortably on the nose, but in a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing manner due to lighter yet still durable modern metal alloys. Similar to Windsors are Peabody-Pierce #23 frames, which have standard elbow shaped temples instead of coils. Also, Battlefield McCallisters, with historically accurate colonial and Civil War era straight temples.
Compared to our Windsors, antique oval metal eyeglasses from the 18th and 19th century are smaller. This is due to limitations on lens technology of that era, and the quality of the glass used. Also, believe it or not, most people were physically smaller during the Enlightenment era. Nowadays frames like Windsors need to be slightly larger to accommodate contemporary men and women.