The AP Collection

Our company’s founder, Adolph P. Erker (A.P.) was a German immigrant who made his way to the United States in the late 1800’s, traveling with the impressive goal of founding his own optical company. In 1879, A.P. established The Erker's Optical Co. in downtown St. Louis, Mo.

In the years following his founding of the company, A.P. was joined by his brother, August Erker, beginning a familial legacy to be carried on for generations. After 40 years of running the business, the brothers received their official trademark as the Erker Bros. Optical Co.


A City to Grow With

As the city was a major trading post with a rapidly growing population, A.P. chose St. Louis as the perfect place to set down roots. At the time, riverboats were the main form of transportation, and a close proximity to the Mississippi River offered the ideal setting for a growing business. Once established, The Erkers Optical Co. became the first optical laboratory west of the Mississippi. Nearly 1.5 centuries later, the family business remains in the city of its original inception.


A Man of Many Lenses

Before narrowing focus to eyewear, the Erker family was known for selling anything with a lens. This started with A.P. Erker, who offered eyewear, cameras, microscopes, goggles, telescopes and binoculars in his optical store. Our cameras were so renowned that we were honored to serve as the official photographer for the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, with our founding father as one of the faces behind the camera.


A Symbol of Our Ancestry

Each frame belonging to this collection is designed with the initials “AP” on the right temple tip’s exterior, while our year of inception can be found on the opposite side. These emblems symbolize the inception of our family business and the legacy that A.P. has given us the privilege of continuing.

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