ABOUT THE FOUNDERHelping build Harriman Square in Sun Valley Idaho 1982.
Our story begins with a man who has always pursued perfection by “creating different”. Milaskey Tipton Zachary was born in Sun Valley, Idaho of Scottish and Hungarian roots. His youth was spent in Socialist Hungary, southern France and the Pacific Northwest. While studying economics and accounting in Seattle his vision began deteriorating.It was the best thing that could have happened to him. Having learned carpentry and handicrafts from his father, he decided to create his own. The quest began in 1998 with rimless frames and evolved into experimentation with different plastics. The project grew in scope and material options became fewer.1999, Acid etched stainless steel parts with sterling silver temple tips
In an act of desperation to find a suitable material, he noticed his father’s old vinyl record collection in the corner of the garage workshop and realized that 3 frames could be made from one vinyl record. It was a eureka moment and a legend was born. The year was 1999. The name Vinylize was coined shortly thereafter.
BIRTH OF VINYLIZE2000, the first Vinylize prototype handmade on a pin router, note the cigar box hinges.
The material opened new horizons and required the development of manufacturing technology. The first prototypes were fully homemade and were soon followed by others. In 2000 during a summer holiday in Hungary Zack presented the prototypes to the directors of a local eyeglass factory.
EYEWEAR DURING SOCIALISM
The factory was originally called Granvisus and was founded in 1962, shortly after the Communists took power. With nearly 100 employees at its peak, it supplied many of the Eastern Bloc countries with fashionable eyewear, including the USSR. Production peaked
at 400,000 frames per year. This included injection molded frames, metal frames and of course milled acetate frames.
A few years after the fall of Communism the factory was privatized and split up. The acetate processing division was sold and renamed EMI. Unfortunately by then the market had become flooded with cheap Chinese imports and sales plummeted.
FAMILY BUSINESS2004, the “ZZ” brothers founded Tipton Eyeworks in Hungary.
Times became hard. From 2001 to 2004, Zack and the few remaining employees of EMI launched into developing technology to produce prescription ready eyewear from vinyl records. New methods were developed and novel processes tested until a frame surpassing the EU quality standards was created.
Zack teamed up with his brother Zoltan in 2004 and founded Tipton Eyeworks. He hit the road to sell the collection. Counterfeit Eurorail tickets were purchased from a talented forger who went by the name of “Z”.
Every optician in every city along the train’s trajectory was visited until an interested customer was found. These are our most loyal clients and the support us to this day.
In 2007 a friend offered to build a CNC and production slowly moved back to Hungary where it remains to this day. In 2014 the original machines upon which the production of Vinylize was developed went up for sale. In June of that year 2 semi-trucks brought it all back home.
“Today all Tipton products are handmade in Budapest by our skilled craftsmen.