In the late 1920’s to early 1930’s American Optical had a hit on its hands when it moved the temple piece from the middle of the frame to the top. This allowed peripheral vision to the side at a time when car driving was becoming very popular. AO called these glasses Ful-Vue. American Optical’s sales of frames doubled from 1934 to 1944.
This was mainly due to Ful-Vue frame sales.
When World War II came along pilots needed to use sunglasses which gave good vision and good protection from sun’s rays at high altitudes.
Ray-Ban was founded in 1937 by Bausch & Lomb (B&L) and obtained licensing from AO to be able to make aviator style sunglasses along with AO and Ful-Vue.
This pair of vintage aviator glasses has the “general bar” that distinguishes it from run of the mill sunglasses. They are marked on both insides of the temple pieces, AO 1/10 12KGF.
Under the bridge, they are marked FULVUE AO 1/10 12KGF. This indicates the the frame is at least one tenth by weight, gold. The gold is layered over the underlying base metal. So these aviators are highly resistant to corrosion. This pair appears to have been rarely, if ever, worn. The nose pads are pristine and not previously bent. The lenses are not scratched and appear as new.
These aviator sunglasses have covered, curved ear tips to hold the glasses securely.
The rubberized coating on the curved ear pieces is in excellent condition. The nose pieces and brow bar are typically Bakelite.
The following is a quote from vintagesunglassesshop on the internet:
“Ray-Ban was founded in 1937 by Bausch & Lomb (B&L) as a brand under which to design and manufacture sunglasses which incorporated advanced B&L lens technologies. The initial buyer was the U.S. Army Air Corps, but it was Lieutenant John MacCready who had the idea that would change the face of sunglasses. In 1920, MacCready returned from a balloon flying expedition complaining that the sunlight had done permanent damage to his eyes. He contacted Bausch & Lomb to ask them to use their optical expertise and technology to design sunglasses that would provide complete UV protection while also being stylish and comfortable to wear. On May 7, 1937, B&L took out the patent on the prototype which included “Anti-Glare” lenses and construction of a lightweight frame that weighed only 150 grams. The prototype sunglasses were made of a specially formulated metal alloy frame electroplated with permanently bonded gold along with precision ground and polished mineral glass lenses that filtered out both infrared and ultraviolet rays. Pilots in the Army Air Corps immediately adopted them as did pilots in the other branches of the armed forces. The “Ray-Ban aviator” style became synonymous with Ray-Ban, never more so than when General Douglas MacArthur landed on the beach in the Philippines during World War II and was photographed wearing Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses. Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses featured Bausch & Lomb mineral glass lenses in a shape that covered 2 to 3 times the area of the eye, and they were popular with both traditional ear stems and “paddle” ear pads as well as curved wire “Outdoorsman” or “Shooter” ear stems that looped around the ears and secured the fit in even the most active conditions.”