Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The History of Tortoishell Eyewear

Tortoishell was a heavily used natural material made popular in the early 1900's. The most widely used was the hawksbill turtle because of the excellent hues and how well the tones reflected on peoples skin. Many items were made out of tortoise in the 1900's some of them were hair clips, guitar pics and sunglasses. The rich hues of the tortoishell made it highly desirable and in the late 1970's the use of tortoiseshell became outlawed to protect this species of reptile from endangerment.

The horn-rimmed eyeglass emerges...Tortoise shell or horn-rimmed eyeglasses became popular in the 1900's first made famous by comedian Harold Lloyd. This eccentric thick dark round eyeglass was a diversion from the classic metal eyeglasses mostly fashioned in this time period the time had come for change. This was the revival needed for eyeglasses they were becoming a fashionable and sought after statement. No longer just a medical device to allow one to see clearly, eyeglasses were clearly becoming fashionable. Yeah!!

The term tortoise shell is now used too readily in almost all eyewear. It is a mainstay in both the eyeglass and sunglass market's. Many different varieties of tortoise are popular some of the names for the different hues of tortoise are as follows;

Christian Roth Tokyo Tort atticeyewear.com
Tokyo Tortoise is referred in the business as the color tortoise that is highly marbled and bright tones of amber and black and dark brown are very apparent.

Vintage Swank Tortoise Shell atticeyewear.com
Tortoise Shell is the color most widely used and is a softer blending of these same hues in a more uniform pattern.
Vintage Robert La Roche Demi Amber atticeyewear.com

Demi Amber is the color tortoise that is a lighter amber blonde color.

Tortoise Shell is still very much in fashion now as they were in the 1900's this organic material created a whole new fashion industry.

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