Getting Ready for the "Super-Bowl of the Sky"

Getting Ready for the "Super-Bowl of the Sky"

Bartlett company making glasses for total eclipse, ‘Super Bowl of the Sky’


BARTLETT, Tenn.-- If you didn’t like how this years Super Bowl turned out you have a chance to see another one but you’ll have to look up.

It’s being called "the Super Bowl of the sky" and Tuesday, February 21, officially marks six months until portions of the United States will experience a full solar eclipse.

It’s been decades since this has happened and there’s a company in Bartlett playing a major role, providing tens of millions of glasses to safely watch the eclipse as it happens.

It’s a typical day at American Paper Optics in Bartlett and the machines are pedal to the metal.

WREG was given an inside look (watch video now)

The special solar glasses are designed, printed, folded and glued for hundreds of museums, schools and companies across the country, potentially up to a million per day.  They’re manufactured right in Bartlett, Tennessee but come August 21 you will find them playing a crucial role for tens of millions of Americans as they step outside to see this a solar eclipse.

Some parts of the country will experience the full eclipse.

The full eclipse will stretch from Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. John Jerit is the President of American Paper Optics, the man helping people experience history.

"Our goal is to sell at least 100 million glasses," he explained.

Jerit has been making glasses for more than 16 years out of Bartlett, you can see for yourself his company has had their hand in a myriad of projects, many calling for 3-D glasses.

"We even did 134 million glasses for the Super Bowl in 2009," he said.

Right now they’re focusing on the upcoming total eclipse.

"You’ll see it in Memphis. In Memphis you’re going to have a 94% eclipse which is great but there’s nothing like getting to totality. Which is 100% so for here the closest place would be Nashville, Tennessee or Carbondale, Illinois," explained Jerit.

The paper glasses help you safely look at the sun and watch the eclipse happen and if it’s a total eclipse you can safely take them off and look at the sky.

"You’ll get two minutes of the day becoming night, temperatures dropping 12 degrees, animals being confused and people going crazy," said Jerit with a smile.

It’s a moment Jerit is excited for Mid-Southerners to witness, that could have a lasting impact.

"This is a lifetime experience. This is the kind of experience that influences children to become mathematicians, astronomers, physicists. It’s an amazing event," he said.


Click image below for more information and a tour of the APO facility!

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  • Jason Lewin