MADE IN THE USA Art-Craft Optical: Local Heritage, 100 Years in the Making

Founded in 1918, Rochester, New York-based Art-Craft Optical prides itself on being the oldest family owned and operated frame manufacturer in the U.S. Art-Craft began with the aim of producing frames for the U.S., Canadian and British war efforts, and the company, now in the hands of the third generation of the Eagle family, hasn’t slowed down since. 

As a supplier of safety frames for the manufacturing workforce and combat frames for U.S. War Plane Program and world militaries, Art-Craft was deemed an essential business early on in the pandemic, and work has not stopped. In fact, vice president Charlie Eagle told VM, “Our prescriptive safety frames as well as new DOD products are in higher demand than we saw pre-pandemic.” 

Art-Craft has also spent the past six months providing PPE to large organizations across the country, including Ace Hardware, Sam’s Club, Disney, schools, colleges, universities and the Federal Government, including the U.S. Secret Service, military bases, the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Federal Courts. Eagle said, “We have viewed COVID as a time to overcome new challenges, retool, focus on better processes and strengthen our workforce.” 

Being American made is an essential piece of Art-Craft’s DNA. Eagle explained, “For Art-Craft, made in the USA is important to us because we have a legacy of over 102 years in supporting local employees, local businesses and regional vendors. The Rochester community is an extended family and we’re committed to helping keep it vibrant and successful.” On top of that, because Art-Craft produces eyewear for the U.S. Military, it is important that product remains American made, due to security cleared U.S.-sourced production. 

Art-Craft also has a variety of collections on the consumer market, and Eagle finds that being American made is important there, too. He said, “We absolutely think that ‘Made in USA’ is a tremendous benefit particularly now that the American consumer is looking for more ways to support American manufacturing by bringing jobs back from overseas. Consumers seemingly are looking to identify as much with a product as they do with a company mission. Being an established, century plus old American manufacturer that is known for quality craftsmanship has played a large role in our development as a company.”

To read the entire MADE IN THE USA article by Gwendolyn Plummer in the October Edition of Vision Monday Magazine go to: