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Original Issue


New ski glasses reduce glare, give greater protection from the wind

A really good pair of goggles to protect his eyes against wind and sun has for years been the skier's dream. Every make at his disposal, it seemed, had some inconvenience and occasionally a serious disadvantage. This year opticians are designing glasses to fit the skier's exacting demands for eye protection.

Several optical companies are already selling their own streamlined designs which are much better than anything offered to skiers before. These new glasses really do protect eyes against blinding glare from all angles, even in the rarefied air of high altitudes where the sun's rays are most intense. They are contoured to block eye-watering wind, and the shape of the lenses is slimmer than before.

In Chicago, Marshall Field sells a French pair designed by Rolley (above). The green convex lenses have a wrap-around sweep that is particularly effective in shutting out side glare and wind. They cost $12.95.

Distortion, a particular annoyance, is virtually eliminated in the glasses designed by Purdy opticians of New York (above). The dark shell frame hugs the face, and the swept-back lenses give especially good peripheral vision. These are available in smoked optical glass or green, yellow and brown unbreakable plastic. Each model sells for $15.

Skier-Optician Bill Blocker of Lugene's New York store spent several winters in the mountains before he designed a gray ground-glass lens (sketched below) that he believes is 90% effective in filtering high-altitude ultraviolet and infrared rays. Since ground glass will break, he has had the lenses heat-treated to withstand up to 1,000 pounds of pressure. At additional cost, Lugene's will grind them to fit any prescription. Encased in a strong black frame that comes in three styles, these glasses look good enough to wear anywhere. A pair costs $22.

Such optical glasses give the skier the best eye protection yet, but a number of ski goggles currently sold in the resort shops solve various problems. The one below which Beconta distributes is a favorite of Austrian ski instructors: a plastic shield by Barrufaldi that is practically fog-proof. It flips up and out of the way when eye cover is not needed, and there is a wide space between it and the leather headband to let air circulate, lessening the tendency to steam up. The shield comes in green or lemon, and each costs $1.50.