About the Founder – Vinylize Eyewear
"Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." -George Herbert
   Helping 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.
The first workshop
Building the first workshop. Sun Valley Idaho 1978.  
 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 with rimless frames and evolved into experimentation with different plastics.
A tipton rimless original
1999, Acid etched stainless steel parts with sterling silver temple tips
    The project grew in scope and material options became fewer. 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 name Vinylize was coined shortly there after.
The first cigarbox Vinylize wraparound2000,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. 
    The factory was originally called Granvisus and was founded in 1962, shortly after the Communists took power.
Awarded to the most productiveWith 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.
The building in the 1970s
    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. Times became hard.
Temple bending in 1972
    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.
The Socialist factory forman and the American brothers
Zack, Zoltan and factory foreman Laci Bácsi in 2003. Interestingly, a disproportionate number of employees had only one eye
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” for 10,000Fts per trip (about 40 euros).
 couterfeit eurorail tickets
2004-2005, many anxiety filled rides accompanied these tickets
    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.
Off to the west in 2005
Zack with his sample set and luggage at the Keleti Railroad station in 2005. Laundry was mailed home
    Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain and in 2005 the assets were sold to a German company who relocated the machines to Romania. Tipton Eyeworks took production to Slovakia, where Vinylize frames were made for 3 years.
Driven by Socialism
The catalogue from 2006. Shot by Tom Lenard.
In 2007 a friend offered to build a CNC and production slowly moved back to Hungary where it remains to this day.
The 4 axis Robotron was a product of ingenuity and Ebay
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.
Semi trucks full of machinery