Hats Off to Foster Grant
27th June 2019
Whilst we don’t sell Foster Grants we do applaud the fact they are celebrating their 90th anniversary this year. That’s significant because it is generally accepted that Sam Foster, founder of Foster Grant, first introduced sunglasses in 1929. He is certainly credited with getting sunglasses into mass production.
From selling his first pair on the ‘Boardwalk’ at Atlantic City in 1929 they immediately took off, helped in no small part by the quick adoption of several big movie stars of the day. During the gilded age of Hollywood, Foster Grant (initially using the brand name Fosta-Grantly) catapulted to fame with their now-iconic advertising campaign, “Who’s That Behind Those Foster Grants®,” featuring numerous Hollywood stars.
It is true that tinted glasses were available before 1929 – Sir William Crookes was developing sunglasses in the early part of the 20th Century and he went into partnership with a Wigmore Street Optician (owned by another Sir William – William Wingate) and by 1920 sunglasses (then known as ‘Crookes Lenses’) had become the very height of fashion.
Even more astonishing is a picture that emerged recently of Queen Victoria wearing dark tinted glass in 1900, the year before she died. However, in terms of what we recognise as leisure style sunglasses the credit is certainly due to Sam Foster.