Erker Bros. Optical Co. storefront in St. Louis from the late 1800s

Our Story

Discover how a family-owned business from 1879 grew into a leading global eyewear design and manufacturing house.

OUR PAST

Founded in St. Louis in 1879, our ancestor A.P. Erker opened the Erkers Optical Co., offering anything with a lens: eyeglasses, sunglasses, cameras, goggles, microscopes, telescopes, binoculars, and more. 

 

In 1904, we served as the official photographer for the St. Louis World's FairIn 1927, we provided the goggles Charles Lindbergh wore as he flew the Spirit of St. Louis from New York to Paris, marking the first solo, nonstop transatlantic flight. In the mid 1900s, we opened the first optical lab west of the Mississippi, allowing us to manufacture our lenses onsite. 

After narrowing focus towards eyeglasses, the family business grew into a global wholesale eyewear design and manufacturing house at the forefront of optic design and expert frame craftmanship. In 2003, we formed our wholesale business, Studio Optyx, which became home to a number of premium and luxury eyewear brands. We acquired NW77th in 2013, forming a brand that caters to younger generations. 

OUR PRESENT

Since its founding, the family-business has been passed down through 5 generations of Erkers, making us the oldest optical company in the United States still owned by the descendants of its founding family. We now strive to uphold our family's legacy through the craft of high-quality, handcrafted eyeglasses capable of lasting a lifetime, coming out with new releases in the spring and fall of each year

 

Aside from our two in-house brands, Erker's 1879 and NW77th, we are a proud distributer of Monoqool, a brand with deep roots in the Danish design tradition, using screwless technology to create 3D printed eyewear. 

 

We craft our products using the strongest materials possible, including surgical-grade stainless steel and our custom-designed cellulose acetate color blends.

DISCOVER OUR BRANDS

Click through the slider to discover our brands and visit their pages to learn more. 

ERKERS 1879
TIMELESS AND ELEGANT

Initially founded in 1879 by our ancestors, our heritage brand encompasses the pride we take in our family's history. Each design is inspired by our past and the city of St. Louis.

Group of people wearing eyewear from Erkers1879

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Speak with a representative to learn more about our business and brands. If you'd like to see the collections in person, request to set up a visit from a local sales representative. 

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