History of sunglasses

Eskimo snowgogglesIn prehistoric time, Inuit people used flattened walrus ivory "sunglasses," looking through the narrow slits and blocking harmful reflected sunrays. Although the history of glasses could be traced back centuries, they were quite different to the ones worn today and fulfilled an entirely different purpose.

Nero, a Roman emperor apparently would watch gladiatorial fights through polished gemstones although the first things that resemble the current sunglasses originated in China, in the 12th. The lenses were crafted from smoky quartz and went someway to protect wearers from glare. The early sunglasses were used actually in courts for shielding the judges’ expressions during the witness questioning. Similar glasses were crafted in Italy during the 1400s, also for use during court cases.

In the 1750s, James Ayscough started to experiment with tinted lenses and spectacles in the 18th century, near 1752. Those were not "sunglasses" proper; Ayscough believed that green- or blue-tinted glass will correct specific vision impairments. Howeverr, protection from the Sun was not a major concern, nor was Glare protection at that time.

Amber/ Yellow and brown-tinted spectacles were a common item for people with suffering from syphilis in the late 19th and 20th centuries as light sensitivity was a symptoms of this disease. When the 20th century began, sunglasses turned more widespread as silent movie stars took up wearing them rapidly before filming for shielding the eyes from the powerful stage lights, often as powerful as the sun.

In 1929, Sam Foster, an American started to mass produce cheap sunglasses that were readily adopted by New Jersey beach goers and the period saw the massive upsurge of demand, as well as the beginning of the sunglasses fashion industry. Later, Edwin H Land, used the patented Polaroid filter to experiment making a polarized lens.

It is believed that contemporary sunglasses became really 'cool' during World War II when people saw photographs of the prominent military figures like General MacArthur putting them in. The wartime image of the GI in sunglasses turned them an aspirational item amongst young people all around the world.

Modern developments

Sunglasses have risen in popularity so much that people are seen wearing them when it there is no sun, or even indoors. Tycoons, movie stars and musicians seen wearing them help this image. Since Oakley introduced Thump range with an integrated audio player, modern sunglasses took a further step towards the future, and many other producers started to follow this trend. The relatively contemporary introduction of that 'transition' lenses that can give sunglasses a good look when these lenses are under bright light evince another development. Due to the increasing concerns of the effect of the sunrays, the future of the sunglasses is assured and many wonderful and weird sunglasses will result.