Ray-Ban is a brand of sunglasses and eyeglasses founded in 1937 by American company Bausch & Lomb. The brand is best known for their Wayfarer and Aviator styles of sunglasses. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian Luxottica Group for a reported $640 million.
The history of the Ray-Ban Aviator dates back to the 1930s, when new airplanes allowed people to fly higher and farther. Many US Army Air Service pilots were reporting that the glare from the sun was giving them headaches and altitude sickness. In 1929, US Army Air Corps Lieutenant General John MacCready asked Bausch & Lomb, a Rochester, New York-based medical equipment manufacturer, to create aviation sunglasses that would reduce the headaches and nausea experienced by pilots, which are caused by the intense blue and white hues of the sky, a new kind of glasses were introduced. The prototype, created in 1936 and known as ‘Anti-Glare’, had plastic frames and green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision. The sunglasses were remodeled with a metal frame the following year and rebranded as the 'Ray-Ban Aviator'. On May 7, 1937, Bausch & Lomb took out the patent, and the Aviator was born.