The Randolph Archer is a sleek, light, and stylish style that has its roots in our classic aviator. Like many of our other sunglass styles, The Archer takes its name from an iconic figure from the history of flight: Samuel Archer King.
Samuel Archer King was one of the early pioneers of ballooning. King was destined for the skies as a child, with a passion for climbing to the greatest heights so that he could look out on the beautiful landscapes of his native Pennsylvania.
Archer King started making balloons early in adolescence. His fascination with flight drove him to make his first ballooning ascension at the age of 21 in Pennsylvania. Though far from a success (the maiden voyage ended in the treetops of a nearby forest), King had caught the ballooning bug and would dedicate the rest of his life to the pursuit.
Throughout the 1850s and 60s, King made several successful ballooning trips throughout the Northeast. He made
several trips in Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts in his “Queen of the Air” balloon. King made several notable trips from nearby Boston and Charlestown. It is most likely that James Wallace Black was traveling in one of King’s balloons when he photographed Boston from the air in 1860. The photo is the oldest surviving aerial photograph in the world. Later in the 1870s, Archer King made several ascensions in Georgia, introducing the southern part of the country to the wonders of flight.
Samuel Archer King embodied the characteristics that Randolph Engineering instills in every pair of our sunglasses: innovative, bold, and fearless.