In 1929 an officer in the Army Air Corps asked Bausch & Lomb for help in combating the headaches that his pilots were suffering due to high-altitude glare. The company went to work, and by 1937 the company was finally ready to patent its solution, a new type of sunglasses called the Ray-Ban Aviator. The lenses were tinted green to cut glare without obscuring a pilot's vision and shaped to provide maximum coverage. In decades to come, Ray-Bans would be copied, upgraded, and adopted by cool cats of every stripe, from General MacArthur striding ashore in the Philippines to Henry Fonda straddling his hog in Easy Rider to Ackroyd and Belushi jamming in Blues Brothers mode. But their mojo was all cribbed. Bottom line: sunglasses, and all their attendant coolness, really are a pilot thing.
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The best tools, tech, and toys of 2013.
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