Monday, June 23, 2014

Willson Googles

Morris Fishbein, M.D.  Modern Home Medical Adviser.  Doubleday & Co., 1935, 1950.
Pictured above are Willson goggles.  Gile J. Willson and his son Dr. Thomas A. Willson founded Thomas A. Willson & Co. in 1871 in Reading, Pennsylvania.  Theirs was the first factory in the world to manufacture optical glass for lenses and reading glasses.  The company expanded into safety glasses in the early years of the last century, and is credited with starting the safety protection industry.  In 1929, they changed their name to Willson Goggles and then, in 1936, Willson Products.  During World War II, they made aviation goggles.  After the war they made sunglasses and swim googles, including those worn by Florence Chadwick, who in 1950 became the first woman to swim both directions of the English Channel.  The company was bought by Dalloz in 1989, and the Reading plant was closed in 2002.  It has since been re-purposed as the "GoggleWorks Center for the Arts."  I think "Goggleplex" would have been a neater name.

No comments: