After posting my lament over the loss of my own Ray-Bans, Egadfly was kind enough to offer this pair to me. Story goes: he bought these in a vintage shop, with the intention of having prescription lenses put in. His optometrist informed him that this was not possible, that the frames wouldn't survive the surgery. This was years ago. After reading my sob story, he decided to send them to a loving home. There are no words to describe my gratitude, really. I didn't realize what a treat it was to own "real" sunglasses until I didn't have any. Thank you, Egadfly.
So how do I know (or guess) they're older than my old ones? The first clue is the hinges. On these glasses they have seven "teeth", three interlocking with four. Newer glasses tend to have five, or even only three, teeth.
This feature, coupled with the glass lenses, which the new pair also has, led me to believe that my old pair was 1960's vintage, or older. But the glasses which arrived today have led me to rethink this hypotheses. It's all in the little details.
Today's pair reads "B&L Ray Ban USA" etched in the right arm...so did my other pair:
But on the left arm, this pair is labelled simply "Wayfarer", where my other pair read "Wayfarer II".
I didn't figure my old glasses to be from the eighties, not that I would have minded. They were big, and heavy, and had all these old fashioned features. I thought that glass lenses were a long gone thing of the past by the time Risky Business came out. But what really threw me was this little detail:
You see, this pair does not have a Ray Ban logo on the side of the arms where the hinges are attached. My other pair did. This leads me to believe that this is clearly the older pair, hailing from a time when things simply didn't have brand names splashed across the outside of them. Perhaps these truly are late fifties/early sixties vintage. I'd been pestering Mrs. G. for a new pair for my birthday. They would have cost around $125, and even this cheapskate will admit that is a fair price for a nice new pair of specs. But the would have had the logo not only on each side, but printed on the right (plastic) lens as well. I probably would have spent most of the night I got them trying to devise a way to scrape the logo off the lens, in the process defacing them. That's how I roll...punk style (or something like that).
So the kicker is that these will give me a private pleasure. People will see them, and their lack of logos, and assume that they are not real. But I will have the satisfaction of knowing that not only are they real, they are in fact more real than other real ones which proclaim their very realness on the outside. (The logic's convoluted to be sure...was it existentialism, or something?)
Again, thanks, Egadfly. Next hook-vented-tweed-sack-in-a-couple-sizes-big-for-me I find has got your name on it, pal.