West Tennessee Company Busy Making Solar Eclipse Glasses

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A West Tennessee company is busily producing special glasses to view the solar eclipse Aug. 21.

American Paper Optics, located in Bartlett, a Memphis suburb, will be shipping out orders until Aug. 18, reports WSMV Channel 4.

The company, whose products include 3-D glasses for DVD releases, has never seen such demand.

“We’re going to hit over 40 million glasses,” company president John Jerit told WSMV.

One challenge is “knock-offs from Asia that are exact copies of mine,” he said.

“We noticed some of our designs showing up on Amazon sites that were not legitimate,” Jerit said. “The counterfeiters are copying our designs as well as putting our name and information on the back side.”

To avoid fakes, Jerit recommends buying from the company’s site and Amazon resellers. He said his company’s glasses have silver lenses on the outside that are black on the inside.

The glasses produced by American Paper Optics are on NASA’s approved list. NASA recommends using special glasses while viewing the solar eclipse. NASA-approved glasses are available from various retailers.

“Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality,” NASA says on its website.

“The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight,” NASA says.

This will be the first time since 1918 that a total solar eclipse will sweep across the U.S. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and earth and the moon fully or partially blocks the sun.

For more information from NASA, visit For more information about the glasses made by American Paper Optics, visit


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