American Craft

There’s a legacy of quality behind every AO frame

The AO manufacturing process marries craft and engineering to create iconic eyewear.

Craft That Has Been Honed for over 150 Years

American Optical has been revolutionizing eyewear manufacturing since 1833. Born from founder William Beecher’s simple and stubborn philosophy of “I can do it better,” AO has pioneered advancements that changed the way we see.

The first rimless frame, Ful-vue temples that expanded vision, the first aviator sunglasses, the list goes on. In the same spirit, AO Eyewear continues to manufacture in the USA, now committed to making the finest eyewear using sustainable practices.

Craft That Has Been Honed for over 150 Years

Our Process

Strict quality control

Uncompromising Standards

With AO heritage comes unwavering quality. AO craftsmen are sculptors, machinists, and perfectionists, rolled into one. Every AO frame progresses through rigorous quality control processes throughout production ensuring every frame shipped is held to the highest standards.
The mark of True Original style

American Craftsmen

There is no machine in the world as valuable as a skilled craftsman. Every AO frame is handcrafted in our Illinois factory. Our process blends machining and handwork to create the highest quality frames.
The return of the Saratoga
American Craftsmen

The Result

The finished product blends lasting style, carefully engineered comfort, and quality you can count on, guaranteed for life. To us, that’s what it means to be a True Original.

See it for Yourself

We love talking about how we make eyewear. What we love even more is showing how we make eyewear. Click below to learn about scheduling a visit to tour our factory.
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    AO is committed to creating the smallest carbon footprint possible. We invest in recycling all metal and acetate scraps. Water used in manufacturing is continuously cleaned so it can be reused for at least six months.
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