Monday, May 3, 2010

Be Bop Glasses: For Style Only!

Who knew that glasses were such a cool fashion item? But they are! You can be a real hep cat - albeit one with astigmatism or near-sightedness - in these boss Be Bop glasses from 1950.

In Chicago they were curing drunkenness with a medicine called Alcorem (with free Pinkies! whatever they were, when you ordered NOW - check out the ad on the left). But over on the east coast, people were busy dancing up a storm. Too bad they all kept stumbling and bumping into each other.

That must have started happening a lot around 1950 - it would explain the need for Be Bop Glasses, right?

However, please note that there were two rival Be Bop Glasses makers: Herman Optical in Newark and Gold Medal Products in Brooklyn. In Newark you got De Luxe glasses with gold glitter. But in Brooklyn you could be a celebrity! Or pretend you were in college. Or just go for a Medium Bop - which is not a bad thing, really. Not too much, not too little. But some bop in your life, yes. A medium amount.

Herman in Newark did want to remind people that the glasses were just for show and "For Style Only." But what a style.

Fun fact: in 1956 Billboard reported that there was a new song called "The Boy With the Be Bop Glasses (and the Suede Shoes)" by a group I'd never heard of (there are many) called the Dawn Breakers (see here). Alas, they did not get a good review:

New group tries for the rock and roll coin in a contrived, somewhat desperate item. Not much here.

Oh dear. The lyrics are here. They involve asking the Boy the secret of his success making "the chicks flip." But isn't it obvious? It has to be the glasses! And there is even a cover version (I couldn't find the original on YouTube), which is by another group I never heard of, called the Funny Bugs:

The 1950 advertisement page is from the fabulous Flickr collection of clotho98 - giant version here.


Tori Lennox said...

I keep thinking about the cure for drunkeness. People could save lots of money simply by, say, not drinking! What a concept! Or just having one. Then they could afford every style of Be Bop Glasses!

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

LOL, where in the world do you find these things???

Barbara said...

Solid man. I dig this ad. I'm feeling hep after that smooth jazz riff I just played man, and now I dig I'm just missing the dig?

Janna said...

This explains why I'm socially inept and can't get a date.
All this time I've been wearing bifocals instead of Be-Bop glasses.

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