These are the JFK Saratoga Sunglasses by American Optical. They’re a reissue of the original Saratoga design that was made famous by John F. Kennedy – he was photographed wearing his everywhere from the White House to the foredeck of SY Manitou.
American Optical is best-known today as the original supplier of pilot sunglasses to both the US Air Force and NASA, the distinctive eyewear would become the first pair of sunglasses worn on the surface of the Moon.
Interestingly, the first aviator sunglasses to become standard issue for the US military were the U.S. Army Air Corps D-1 Sunglasses made by American Optical, which debuted back in 1935, just four years before World War II broke out across the Atlantic.
In 1958 John F. Kennedy would visit the American Optical factory in Southbridge, Massachusetts. Kennedy was the junior senator for Massachusetts at the time, and he was already on a trajectory for higher office, having published his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Profiles in Courage two years earlier in 1956.
After Kennedy’s visit to the factory he became the company’s most high-profile fan, wearing his American Optical Saratoga Sunglasses almost daily, and regularly appearing in print media and on television with them.
Malcolm X would also frequently wear American Optical sunglasses, and when the Apollo 11 mission touched down on the Moon in 1969, both Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong wore their AO aviator sunglasses in many photographs taken on the lunar surface inside Lunar Module Eagle.
The JFK Saratoga Sunglasses
Each pair of JFK Saratoga Sunglasses is made in the United States with a tortoise shell-style frame handmade from acetate, they have German seven-barrel hinges, and AOLite non-polarized Calobar™ lenses.
These lenses are lightweight for all-day comfort, they’re impact-resistant, and they offer 100% UVA/UVB protection. All American Optical sunglass lenses have an anti-reflective coating that minimizes glare, and an oleophobic coating that reduces smudging.
These sunglasses come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects, they’re made in the USA, and they’re currently being offered by Huckberry with free U.S. shipping, free returns, and a best price guarantee.
All images courtesy of Huckberry
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