Monday, February 18, 2008


I mentioned in an earlier post that I hadn't found a good source for old goggles to match the items in this period (20's) photograph...but now I have! A fellow in Oporto, Portugal has an ebay store, Luis Collectibles, which carries a huge variety of authentic, original goggles, helmets, gloves, sunglasses, etc. Check it out! The reason I'm telling you this? I already have 15 pairs of riding goggles... Bear in mind that you'll usually have to replace the elastic on an old pair, which shouldn't be too difficult. The rubber within tends to degrade after only 20 years or so (well beyond the original service life if you think about it).

A word of caution about old rubber - some pairs of vintage goggles have rubber pads around the eyes, which can be very small or very large indeed, almost like a mask; if you're buying something online, make sure the rubber isn't perished/perishing, as it will be impossible to replace without making a mould and casting your own... Also, celluloid doesn't age nearly as well as glass, so it's important to check the condition of whatever the 'clear' part of your goggles might be. Some celluloid (which is an early form of plastic - geek out and check the wiki:celluloid entry) has survived remarkably well, others have yellowed and cracked or have become too scratched to be useful. Replacement lenses are easier to come by than rubber bits, as any good eyeglass place should be able to help. I've also had great luck using Allyn Scura for new lenses. They also sell the best vintage sunglasses (and sometimes goggles - I got my Spaceman Spiff items from them).

If you don't want the hassle or uncertainty of vintage items and are looking for new goggles, the best I've found are made by Aviator Goggle (Leon Jeantet) in France, which are shown in the bottom photograph. I've seen them advertised at

No comments: