The bridge rests on the nose and connects the lenses on a pair of spectacles. It is essential to aesthetic balance. Consideration of how the frame will sit on the nose is the absolute starting point of the designer’s styling process. Each nose is different, as unique as a fingerprint. If the bridge doesn’t fit the nose, nothing else will. Glasses will either sit too high or too low on the face, upsetting the overall balance. The wrong bridge can also make glasses uncomfortable. Italian designers, for example, prefer a small, tight shape that isn’t always appropriate to the shape of some faces. For comfort, the bridge needs to consistently distribute the weight of the frame around the nose. Glasses do project a persona or image but they must be wearable, too. For example, there’s no point in having the most amazing pair of shoes if you can’t walk down the street in them. There are only two types of bridge: the unadjustable acetate bridge; and the metal bridge with its adjustable nosepads.
Frederick Beausoleil is an eminent French designer renowned for working with buffalo horn and genuine turtle shell frames and his emphasis on classic eyewear craftsmanship. Beausoleil become good friends with Ray Charles and created the singer’s signature thick-rimmed, heavy-sided glasses.
A bifocal is a combination lens that in the nineteenth century solved the problem of reading glasses blurring long-sight. Although it is disputed whether he truly discovered the bifocal, US President Benjamin Franklin certainly came up with the ‘Franklin split’ lens independently of anyone else and is often considered the inventor.
BAUSCH AND LOMB
Founded in Rochester, New York in 1853, Bausch and Lomb are primarily producers of contact lenses but were the original manufacturers of Ray-Ban sunglasses. In 1937, they started a movement for affordable sunglasses and were responsible for the iconic Ray-Ban Wayfarer. B&L was engraved on the original Ray Ban lenses.
Leonardo Dicaprio, Wolf of Wall Street (2013)