by Jamie Bartlett


Since their earliest conception, optical lenses were predominantly made from glass.

Scratch resistant and with a high refractive index, glass was the go-to for optics since as eary as the 7th century.

Contrary to their beginnings, the majority of optical lenses are now made using plastic. Due to the affects of WWII, natural materials during this era were scarce. However, the growing post-war plastics industry provided very suitable and indeed superior alternatives. Plastics as we know them were rapidly displacing many materials and glass optical lenses were no exception.

The 1950's witnessed a surge in demand for corrective eyewear. With the repopulation of the baby boom and restabalised economy, people were more able to afford, and indeed wanted, to wear glasses frames. Eyewear was becoming more attainable driven by post war fashion and recovering consumerism.

Lighter in weight and less likely to shatter, these new plastic lenses grew in demand as a better, more viable material. As for manufacture, plastic was easily substituted as the processes could remain the same.

Plastic lenses were clearly a good option.


Lēns, the latin name for lentils describes the the double-convex shape of some of the earliest optical lenses.



If you select your lenses through us, they will indeed be plastic. Made from CR39 plastic, your lenses are fitted (glazed) by our qualified lens technician.

We have an array of lens options including coatings, tints and more. Hit the button below to calculate the price of your prescription lenses.


    Tortoise spectacle frames made by Banton Frameworks


    Jamie Bartlett
    Jamie Bartlett

    Co-founder of Banton Frameworks.

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