The eyewear company Ray Ban developed the first style of aviator sunglasses or “aviators” for short in 1937. Early in the 20th century, as pilots often flied high over all kinds of mountains, they had to take overall outfit, including leather hoods, fur-lined goggles and so on. To protect eyes from extremely low temperatures and harsh sunlight, they must wear thick goggles. However, these goggles would leave undesirable tans on pilots’ faces, and for a long time these tans wouldn’t disappear. Sometimes pilots must remove the goggles for an instant to risk lives, and then eyes were exposed in the harsh conditions so that eyes would be enormously damaged. John Macready, a pilot who had experienced eyes hurting with early goggles, got the idea of designing early aviator glasses.
By the late 1930s, advertisements for Ray Ban promised “real scientific glare protection” for fishermen and golfers. Not yet called aviators, the glasses nonetheless captured the essence of aviator goggles with their teardrop shape and frames as delicate as biplane’s struts. Sold as sporting equipment, they cost several dollars at a time as sunglasses could be had for 25 cents. During World War II，aviators became standard gear for military men, including Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
Aviator glasses are characterized by thin wire frames, often gold or black in color and large dark lenses that are approximately three times larger than the average human eye socket. Some versions have reflective lenses instead of dark lenses. Another feature of aviator sunglasses is their bulging lenses. Most of eyeglasses and sunglasses are fitted with flat lenses, while aviator glasses have lenses that bulge outwards slightly, and this design allows for maximum coverage of the eye area. The styles of aviator glasses become more and more various with the times. Aviators are designed not only for pilots or navy, but also for celebrities, even the civilian community. In various magazines or fashion reports, celebrities with aviator glasses can be seen everywhere. It is easy to see that aviators always maintain a high level of popularity.