In the Spring of 1972, having worked as an agent for a number of European Optical Companies, Tom White made a very brave decision and embarked on a trip to China.
Here he visited a number of factories and agreed to pay in advance for a few thousand spectacle frames that were duly delivered to his garage four months later.
This was the beginning of Tom White Optical.
Every Sunday night Tom would load his car with samples and stock and set off to call on independent opticians all around the country. He would return on Friday night with a full order book.
Over the weekend, with the help of his wife Margaret, they would box and invoice the orders that had been taken.
The following week Tom was off again on his travels. Tough but very exciting times.
Fifty years later and fifteen years after Tom retired, White Optics is going from strength to strength and is now considered to be a major player within the U.K. optical industry.
To commemorate our 50th year in UK optics, we are launching, in honour of Tom, a collection of vintage frames.
We have called the collection Tom White 50 Originals.
The frames have been carefully designed to combine both modern and classical shapes and all have a vintage feel taking us back to those early days when Tom started the business.
Tom, who is now in his 90th year, is looking forwards to his new glasses and sends heartfelt thanks to all of you who have supported and kept in contact with him over the years.
Here’s to the next 50 years.