The history of horn rimmed glasses

May 24th, 2010 by Jean Caster Leave a reply »

Horn rimmed glasses are a type of eyeglasses, featuring rims made of horn or tortoise shell, which the name horn-rimmed glass came from, or plastic that simulated the look of either material.

Horn-rimmed glass originated in Europe in the 1800s, the frames were actually made from tortoise shell and were expensive. And in 1910s, horn rimmed glasses became popular in the United States. Harold Lloyd, who was a famous American silent comedian, brought horn-rimmed glasses to the mainstream. He might be the first one who popularized black horn-rimmed glass. What is more, the frames of horn-rimmed glass in United States were made from plastic which was less expensive than tortoise shell. Harold Lloyd always wore a horn rimmed glasses in films, which influenced young Americans to purchase horn rimmed glasses. And horn-rimmed glass continued to be popular in following decades.

Horn-rimmed glass had a bounce back in the 1950s because of the musician Buddy Holly, who always wore a series of large, bulky square pairs of horn rimmed glasses on his album covers and on tour. This kind of horn rimmed glasses remained popular from the late 1950s until 1970s, then replaced by large, steel aviator frames. In the 1980s, round horn-rimmed glass came back to fashion, and was favored by New Wave musicians and fans, then fell out of fashion in the mid 1990s.

Horn-rimmed glass returned to popular at the beginning of the 21th century; and is still fashionable since. In addition, modern horn rimmed glasses are thinner than the ones before. Many Hollywood characters also made horn rimmed glasses work for them. In the popular American TV series “Heroes”, the guy with a pair of horn rimmed glasses is impressive among audiences. Also, America Ferrera’s Betty Suarez of Ugly Betty takes a pair of black horn-rimmed glass to make the character more vivid. Anyway, horn rimmed glasses will be popular for a time.

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