The Kirk family celebrates 100 years in optics

In 1919 Sidney and Percy Kirk converted a dilapidated sewing machine into a lens cutter. Thus began a century of the Kirk family influencing optics around the globe and in 2019 Jason and Karen Kirk carry the mantle of one hundred years of Kirks in optics.
The Kirk Brothers travelled the world opening factories in the US and South Africa, even visiting South America regularly to source the finest quartz to create glass lenses from the beaches of Brazil. They invented and innovated with their bullet proof Motex glass, originally created for pilots, used by Sir Malcolm Campbell in his world land speed record attempts.
They passed on a love of optics to their kids and a whole new generation of Kirks went into the profession, some as opticians and others developing optical machinery, particularly in the USA, under the brand name Percy Kirk.
Sidney’s son, Neville was in practice with his wife Esme and it looked like that was going to be the end of the family interest in optics. Then one day, quite unexpectedly, their son Jason stumbled across a box of frames that Sidney and Percy had created in the 1950s and 60s. Inspired by this beautiful discovery, Jason and partner Karen, herself a designer, dropped their respective careers and dedicated themselves to eyewear. Today Kirk & Kirk sells in the finest independent optical boutiques around the world and produce the sort of eyewear.
“This is an amazing moment, having seen everything that my Grandfather achieved and grown up in my parent’s practice, Karen and I are very proud to learn from the past to drive the future,” said Jason Kirk. “This is about looking forward as, like the previous generations, we try to contribute to the next century of optics”.
The new Centena Collection celebrates their one hundred year history but is directed firmly towards the future.

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