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army air corps
sun glare
ultra violet light
prescription glasses
Did You Know Sunglasses Have Been Around For A Long Time?
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Did You Know Sunglasses Have Been Around For A Long Time?

You need to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes all year around, not just for the beach in the summer or because you want to look cool.

Your eyes need protection from the severe damage caused by Ultra Violet radiation. Your sunglasses provide you this protection.

Sunglasses have been around for a long time. It is said that the Roman Emperor Nero made sunglasses from polished emerald gems which he used to protect his eyes as he watched gladiators battling on the arena.

But the actual invention of sunglasses took place around 1275. In Chinese Courts Judges wore flat surface sunglasses so that no one could determine the expression in their eyes.

It was not until 1430 that prescription glasses were produced in Italy. It is said that Chinese Judges were quick to adopt the Italian invention.

The use of corrective lenses did not begin until James Ayscough developed them in the middle of the 18th century. This was the start of wearing sunglasses to correct vision problems.

Prior to 1730, people had problems keeping eyeglasses on their nose. On that year, Edward Scarlett invented side pieces to hold the glasses in place.

Silk strips of ribbon were placed around the ears to hold the metal side pieces in place. The frames of these early glasses were made of leather, bones and metal.

The next big breakthrough came in 1780 when Benjamin Franklin invented bifocal lenses. This was a revolutionary improvement to the standard lenses.

The use of sunglasses to protect the eyes from ultra violet light did not start until the 20th century.

Wearing sunglasses for fashion did not start until 1929 with the introduction of "Foster Grants." These sunglasses were mass produced for the first time.

Just before WWII, the Army Air Corps commissioned Bausch & Lomb to come up with special sunglasses to protect pilots from sun glare at high altitudes. Bausch & Lomb developed sunglasses that reduced light rays as they passed through the yellow section of the spectrum.

The next breakthrough came with Edward Land's invention of Polaroid filters. These filters were used in sunglasses which were quickly popularized by movie stars. A new fashion trend had begun.

The introduction anti-glare sunglasses in 1937 were another step towards ever wider use and wear of sunglasses. Additional development in lens design came with the introduction of longer lenses to protect pilots from control panel reflections.

Hollywood stars have had great impact on sunglasses designs. This was especially true beginning in the 1970's. Additional boost to sunglasses popularity came from designers and film stars putting their names on the latest designs. At the beginning of the new century, stars continue to use sunglasses to maintain their anonymity in public places.

However, the ever increasing concern about the harmful effects of ultra violet radiation is making people aware of the benefits of wearing protective sunglasses.

Today you do not have to give up quality just to have the latest trendy sunglasses. Therefore, you find readily available sunglasses that are polarized to protect you from glare that reflects off of various surfaces as you drive your car.

It was inevitable that sunglasses manufacturers would target children who want to have the same styles and brands their parents and their idols wear. Even Disney cartoon characters are having their influence on designs and colors for children.

But a positive side effect is that this popularity of sunglasses provides protection against potential eye damage from ultra violet radiation for the entire population, regardless of age.


Street Talk

I really like this article, it's fun to learn about the history of things like sunglasses

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Jehnelle for reading and commenting... the historical item that fascinated me was that Roman emperor Nero had his own version of sunglasses to enjoy his afternoons watching the bloody fights at the Coliseum... how bizarre is that?

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I couldn't live or breath without my sunglasses lol! I agree with the health aspects, but I also feel like the kid on "Big Daddy" where I only take them off if I like the person. Otherwise they may see my soul :). LOL thanks for the article.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Erin...you're comments are always insightful, and with a twist of humor! Thanks for your comment.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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