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The Untold Story of New Year’s Novelty Glasses

You've seen, and probably worn, those New Year's Eve party eyeglass frames that have the number of the coming year on them. They were everywhere in 2000, as we celebrated the new millennium. But you might not know that the idea goes back thirty years ...and you almost certainly don't know the guys who came up with them.

Thirty years ago, in a small Seattle apartment, two friends smoked some weed, knocked back a few beers and talked the night away. That was tradition for Richard Sclafani and Peter Cicero, two best friends working middling jobs to supplement their music careers. But on this particular Friday night in January 1990, Sclafani and Cicero’s doodling would change New Year’s Eve celebrations forever.

“We were always coming up with ideas — they’d just pop into our head and we’d scribble them down — but we’d never do anything about them,” Sclafani tells me. “We’d somehow gotten onto drawing novelty glasses and had ideas sketched out. Pete drew the number 2000 and put a couple of eyeballs inside the zeros. I took one look at it and had this vision of the year 2000 in Times Square, and all the people wearing these glasses. It was really a vision.”

Sclafani and Cicero registered a patent, and started borrowing money to make the idea work. And it did, better than they ever expected, right up until the knockoffs started arriving. Read about the real history behind those New Year glasses at Mel magazine. -via Digg


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