The Origins and History of Sunglasses

By | October 23, 2015

Sunglasses are a form of protective eyewear designed primarily to prevent high-energy visible light and bright sunlight from discomforting or damaging the eyes. Sunglasses for men and women can sometimes function as a visual aid, as variously termed glasses or spectacles exist, featuring lenses that are coloured, darkened or polarized.  Sunglasses are recommended whenever a person is in the sun to protect the eyes from blue light and ultraviolet radiation (UV), which can cause several serious eye problems. Its usage is mandatory immediately after some surgical procedures such as IntraLASIK and recommended for a certain time period in dusty areas when leaving the house and in front of a TV screen or computer monitor after LASEK.

Origins and History of Sunglasses

While even in prehistoric time Inuit people wore flattened ivory glasses to block harmful rays of the sun, the earliest historical reference to sunglass dates back to ancient Rome and China. The Roman emperor Nero watched his favourite gladiator fights through polished gems.

In China, sunglasses were commonly used in the 12th century or possible earlier. These sunglasses were mainly made out of lenses that were flat panes of smoky quartz. These sunglasses offered no corrective powers nor they protect from UV rays but did protect the eyes from glare. Ancient documents describe the uses of such crystal sunglasses by judges in ancient Chinese courts to fully hide their facial expressions when they interrogated witnesses.first-sunglasses

James Ayscough commenced experimenting with tinted lenses in spectacles around 1752. Ayscough was fully steadfast in the belief that blue-or green-tinted glass could potentially correct specific vision impairments. Protection from harmful sun rays was not a concern at this time.

Glasses tinted with yellow-amber and brown were also a commonly-prescribed item for individuals with syphilis in the 19th and 20th century because one of the symptoms of the disease was sensitivity to light.In the 1900s, the use of sunglasses becomes more widespread, especially among movie stars.history of Sunglasses

Inexpensive mass-production of sunglasses commenced in 1929 when Sam Foster introduced them to America. Foster sold his sunglasses on beaches of Atlantic City, New Jersey under the name Foster Grant from a Woolworth on Boardwalk. These sunglasses were made to protect people’s eyes from harmful rays of the sun.Polarized sunglasses first became available in 1936, when Edwin H. Land commenced using his patented Polaroid filter when making sunglasses.

Sunglasses played a significant role during the World War II, when Ray Ban sunglasses were made, using polarization. Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses became immensely popular with the celebrities and the community in 1937 when they commenced to be sold for the public. Today, sunglasses with UV protection have become an industry standard, and sunglasses styles are changing every year.

Sunglasses in Modern Times

Sunglass trends come and go, so take a tip from history and repeat your favorite decade of shades. We will bring you up to speed on the evolution of sunglasses in fashion and celebrities who made them famous along the way — plus, we will give you the chance to snag those retro styles for less.

sunglasses online

Cat Eye Sunglasses

Made popular in the ‘50s by celebs like Marilyn Monroe, cat eyes add the perfect amount of drama to any look. Today, they still shine in the spotlight, frequently worn by celebs like Katy Perry, who looks retro-fab in bold black-and-white pairs.

Browline Sunglasses

Browline sunglasses were the rage for men in the 1950s. These sunglasses for men have a hipster, smarty-pants reputation. In the 50s, human rights activist Malcolm X was rarely seen without a pair of his iconic browline styles. Now, you can find these shades in a wide array of patterns, colors, and lens tints.

Oversized Sunglasses

We can thank infamous Jackie O for making oversized sunglasses a thing, and we’re really happy she did. Big, plastic frames in pops of black and white were eyewear trend dominating women’s fashion in the 1960s. Now, oversized sunglasses come in a spectrum of shapes and styles.history_of_sunglasses

Aviator Sunglasses

In 1986, aviator sunglasses emerged as an icon when Tom Cruise and his fellow cast members donned this sunglass in the blockbuster, Top Gun . Maverick’s slick style commenced a trend that has not slowed down much since the ‘80s. Today, aviator sunglasses are as popular as ever, seen on A-list celebs like Kim Kardashian and Diddy . You will feel invincible in a pair of oversized, mirrored, or polarized aviators. Take flight with caution.

Ray Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses

Ray Ban sunglasses are popular among common people as well as celebrities. Wayfarer sunglasses have been manufactured by Ray-Ban since 1956, when their design was a revolutionary break from the metal eyewear of the past. Wayfarers enjoyed immense popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. Though these sunglasses had faded from the limelight by 1970s, a lucrative 1982 product placement deal brought Wayfarers to their height of popularity. Since the mid-2000s, these sunglasses have been enjoying a revival.

While sunglasses were originally marketed to men, the allure of shading the gaze became more attractive to women. You can buy sunglasses online from online stores like Lenspick at a reasonable price.

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