History Comes Alive Via Eyewear! Part 3: Rimless Eye Frames of the Gilded Age!

The period after the American Civil War through the 1890s was known as The Gilded Age, a term which came from an 1873 novel The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, which portrayed the era as one of significant social upheaval masked by a thin gold gilding. Meanwhile in Europe, the Belle Époque, which means "fine period" extended up until WW1.

Gilded Age drawing room gathering tuxedos and gowns

Gilded Age Fashion  Walking in Park Photograph

The well-to-do of this era required elegant vision-correcting eyeglasses that matched their ensemble, which usually meant they had to be gold or silver rimless eye frames with carefully designed lens shapes. Our Traditional and Tuxedo Cables rimless frames were developed with the styles of these eras in mind, to project the same refinement and status claimed by the gentlemen and ladies who attended the lavish and elegant balls thrown by the Astors and Vanderbilts.

Tuxedo Cables and Traditionals Rimless Eyewear

Silver Rimless Eye Frames with Round Lenses

Tuxedo Cables Rimless eye frames, shown in Silver.

As the old money New York Knickerbocker society mingled on the dance floor with the socially-climbing Nouveau Riche, they sought accessories that would help solidify their status as a member of The 400. Gold and silver rimless eye frames with were a perfect match for their expensive jewelry and pocket watches.  Sometimes wrap-around cabled temples were added to help keep them secure on the face as they poured over the menu while dining at Delmonico's.

A Drawing of Gilded Age Fashion and Dining

If you want to achieve a similar look but prefer to have standard "elbow" shaped temple arms, you can choose Traditionals rimless eyewear, which share the same design as Tuxedos, but without the coiled wrap-around temples. Traditionals allow you to project the same aristocratic persona while allowing you to quickly remove and replace the frames over your eyes.

Gold rimless eyeglasses with octagon lenses

Tuxedo Cables Rimless eye frames, shown in Silver.

Both Tuxedo Cables and Traditionals also come in an Antique Gold finish, and are available in multiple lens shapes. So even if you can't trace your lineage back to the Mayflower, you can still accessorize like an Astor, Vanderbilt or Carnegie!

Belle Epoque Street Scene Horse Carriage Painting