Calalzo di Cadore, the first industrial complex for lens and frame manufacturing in Italy, is founded by Giovanni Lozza and the Frescura brothers in Pieve di Cadore, a town in the province of Belluno in the Veneto region of Italy.

Guglielmo Tabacchi, Safilo’s founder, is born in Solvay, N.Y.

The Tabacchi family moves back to Italy to start a business in the Veneto region.

Hollywood stars like Harold Lloyd make round and elongated-shaped glasses fashionable.

Guglielmo Tabacchi acquires the historic manufacturer Calalzo di Cadore and founds Safilo SpA. Safilo is an acronym for Società Anonima Fabbrica Italiana Lavorazione Occhiali, which loosely translates to “Italian eyewear manufacturing company.”

Manufacturing facilities on the Molinà River are updated with Pelton turbines, and the production area and offices are expanded. During the German occupation, the company is forced to make only one model of glasses, and the entire output is sent to Germany.

Production and sales networks are reorganized, and sales are boosted in postwar Milan and Rome. Trends include large American-style glasses and sport-inspired protective eyewear.

The company invests in producing sunglasses, leading to an increase in exports and greater competition with French and German producers.

Safilo Group opens a plant in Santa Maria di Sala, in the province of Venice, where it transfers its administrative offices and entire production of cellulose acetate frames — the use of celluloid as a raw material for making frames was abandoned at this point.

The Pieve di Cadore plant is enlarged. Key technological innovations like the Elasta hinge, patented by Safilo, become successful.

The group acquires the Padua Service Center.

Guglielmo Tabacchi dies. His sons Giuliano and Vittorio take over the company’s operation.

Distribution, sales and administrative departments are transferred to Padua.

The first international sales office opens in Belgium. Others follow in the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Germany and France.

Consumers demand lighter, tougher, more comfortable and state-of-the-art sunglasses.

Friulplastica is founded in Martignacco, in the province of Udine, to supply the group’s production plants with metal components. Safilo Canada is created.

Safilo begins producing eyewear for key brands when it acquires Optifashion, which at the time had licenses with Gianfranco Ferré and Ferrari, among others.

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