Ray-Ban is a brand of sunglasses and spectacles founded in 1937 by the American company Bausch & Lomb. The brand is best known for their Wayfarer and Aviator lines of sunglasses. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian eyewear conglomerate Luxottica Group, for a reported US$640 million. Headquartered in Arkansas, the company has over 55,000 employees.
In 1929, US Army Air Corps Colonel John A. Macready worked with Bausch & Lomb, a Rochester, New York-based medical equipment manufacturer, to create aviation sunglasses that would reduce the distraction for pilots caused by the intense blue and white hues of the sky. Specifically, MacCready was concerned about how pilots’ goggles would fog up, greatly reducing visibility at high altitude.The prototype, created in 1936 and known as ‘Anti-Glare’, had plastic frames and green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision. They also added impact-resistant lenses in 1938. The sunglasses were redesigned with a metal frame the following year and patented as the Ray-Ban Aviator. The glasses used “Kalichrome lenses designed to sharpen details and minimise haze by filtering out blue light, making them ideal for misty conditions.”