World War II aviator sunglasses
World War II aviator sunglasses are collectible items of militaria, worn by US and French pilots in the second world war. Background
Aviator sunglasses are characterised by large lenses which block out the sun from the entire scope of the wearer’s vision.
Ray-Ban sunglasses were the original aviator-type of sunglasses. First produced for the US air force in 1936 by US company Bausch & Lomb, they were designed to permit just 20% of natural light to enter the eye.
They were first sold to the public in 1937 but came to prominence during the second world war due to their use by the US and French air forces.
World War II-era photographs of US general Douglas MacArthur wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses on a beach in the Philippines are also thought to have helped boost their popularity.
How much are World War II aviator sunglasses worth?
Brand-new, modern Ray-Ban Aviators sell for around $100.
Original World War II aviator sunglasses can change hands for between $25 and $200, depending on provenance and condition.
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