Our Designer Eyeglasses: Erker’s 1879

When we determined that we were going to create our own eyeglasses line, the name “Erker’s 1879” was a natural fit. Erker’s Fine Eyewear is a 5th generational establishment, and the longest-standing optical company in the U.S. that’s still owned by its founding family: Our surname carries a lot of weight. And 1879, the year we were founded, was the humble number that began over 140 years of excellence in optical.

Our Erker’s 1879 designer eyeglasses line is based upon history — not only our own decades mastering eyewear, but the centuries since the first eyeglasses were created. Our fashionable frames bridge the distance between the enduring classics and modern experimentation in a uniquely St. Louis style.

Why Make Our Own Designer Frames?

We’ve always been known for our expertise in the world of optics. But our origins were in curation and perfection — that is, we brought the most thought-provoking, fashion-forward frames to Saint Louis, and then we refined those frames to each client’s need in our cutting-edge optical lab.

But we’ve found it impossible to spend so much time in the world of eyewear without wanting to contribute our own creations. More than anything, that urge to turn our mastery into something concrete for our clients is what led us to develop fashionable glasses under the brand Erker’s 1879.

We’ve learned what the most durable and lightweight frame materials are, what makes a design classic versus trite, why some lenses are better for certain lifestyles than others, and a great deal more niche knowledge that helps us perfect our glasses and personalize them to our clients. Simply try on a pair of our designer eyeglasses, and you’ll quickly understand the difference 140 years of experience makes.

The Spirit of St. Louis Lives in Our Designer Glasses

Throughout the years, we’ve played important behind-the-scenes roles in St. Louis’ history, and we’ve built our heritage into our designer frames. All Erker’s 1879 eyeglasses are named after local celebrities, areas, or landmarks, and every collection is engraved with an emblem that recalls the shared history of our optical shop and this great city.

Here, you can learn the story behind a few of our collections’ emblems:

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High-quality goggles were one of our first products, and Charles Lindbergh trusted our goggles as he made the first solo, nonstop, transatlantic flight from New York to Paris.

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We also sold camera lenses in our early days, and our cameras were so fine that we were appointed official photographer for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

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St. Louis has a long history of producing legendary sports broadcasters, and names like Harry Caray, Bob Costas, Joe Buck, and Mike Shannon have all trusted us with their eyeglasses.

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In addition to representing history, heritage, and longevity, it also recalls one of our first locations, a building we used for over 120 years with many, many stone lion’s heads adorning it.

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We built the first optical lab west of the Mississippi river, which gave us a fresh perspective on our city’s beloved riverboats as they made St. Louis what it is today.


We’re proud to be the finest eyewear and eyecare in St. Louis and throughout Missouri. To schedule an appointment, call now or book online below.