|Products||Eyewear and sunglasses|
|Owner(s)||Safilo Group S.p.A.|
Polaroid Eyewear was a part of the StyleMark group and sold to the Safilo Group in November 2011. They have offices in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia, Hong Kong, and the United States.
Edwin Land, born in 1909 in Connecticut, invented Polaroid, the world's first polarizing material for commercial use, in 1929. He founded the Polaroid Corporation in 1937 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company initially produced Polaroid Day Glasses, the first sunglasses with a polarizing filter.
Petters Group Worldwide, the owner of the Polaroid brand at the time, sold Polaroid Eyewear to specialist eyewear company StyleMark in March 2007. StyleMark is a global distributor of fashion, sport, and children's sunglasses.
With its headquarters in Zürich, Switzerland, Polaroid Eyewear operates as an autonomous business. The company manufactures its Polaroid polarizing lenses at its European Research Centre in the Vale of Leven, Scotland.
Polarization and eyes
Visible light waves from the sun travel in all directions. When this scattered light meets a horizontal surface, like a road or water, a large portion of the light is reflected with horizontal polarization. This horizontally-polarized light is seen as white glare, and masks light that is useful to the human eye, reducing visibility. By using a sheet of vertical polarizing material, the horizontally-polarized component can be significantly attenuated, reducing the overall light level reaching the eye. This improves contrast, and thus perception of the scene.
Polaroid Eyewear uses press-polishing to manufacture their polarized lenses. Press-polishing preserves polarizing capability. It also allows Polaroid Eyewear to produce lenses that are thicker at the center and tapered towards the edges. Greater degrees of curvature in polarized lenses for 2-, 6-, and 8-base frames and 6-base masks, plus toric lenses, are possible.
- "Edwin Herbert Land (1909–1991): Instant photography". Inventor of the Week. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. May 2007. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
- "Polaroid Day Glasses (advertisement)". Life (Time) 7 (2): 71. July 10, 1939. ISSN 0024-3019.
- "StyleMark to Acquire Polaroid Eyewear International; Creates New Global Sunglass Power" (Press release). StyleMark. March 6, 2007. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
- "Safilo to acquire Polaroid Eyewear" (Press release). Ophthalmology Times. Nov 30, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- "Industry in the Vale of Leven". The Vale of Leven. Vale of Leven, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland: Toucher Web Design (UK). p. 5. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
- Polaroid Eyewear, Experts in Polarized Lens Technology (PDF), Polaroid Eyewear, p. 11, retrieved November 5, 2010