Founded in 1898
Max Wiseman & Co was founded in 1898. In 1932, Mr. Wiseman acquired a German old-school frame factory and relocated it to London's East End. The Algha factory, relocated from Rathenau along with its craftsmen and machines, stands to this day. The machines that were brought over are still in operation.
Participated in the war effort
During the Second World War, the Algha Works factory dedicated itself to producing eyewear for gas masks and Aviator frames for the British Armed Forces. After the conclusion of World War II, the government awarded Algha with a contract to supply all British citizens with eyewear through the NHS.
What followed was Algha's period of prosperity. With all British citizens as a client base, Algha grew to serve 1.5 million customers a year, with 150 employees in its building. John Lennon and Queen Elizabeth II both wore Algha frames, and John Lennon's iconic Round Eyes were Algha-made.
In 1988, Margaret Thatcher ended the NHS' free glasses program. Overnight, Algha lost its customer base, and reinvented itself. Thus, Algha's house brand Savile Row Eyewear was born. Under this guise, Algha made frames for many celebrities, including Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. To this day, we make vintage-style custom-made frames by hand and using the same machines that were brought over from Rathenau all those years ago.