The History of Sunglasses

What do you know about sunglasses? Take some time to read up on the history of the accessory that many of us couldn’t imagine living without:

  • The first known act of wearing shades over our eyes was during the prehistoric era. Inuit peoples wore “glasses” made out of flattened walrus ivory which they designed to have narrow slits to block out the sun’s rays
  • In 1430, China created the first darkened sunglasses, and it became a preference for Chinese judges who wanted to conceal the expression of their eyes in court
  • The early 1900s brought the introduction of sunglasses to America
  • They quickly become a favorite of actors and actresses who used them as a means to protect their eyes from the bright lights on movie sets. Sunglasses were also useful for hiding their identities in public
  • The first mass-production of sunglasses in America is attributed to Sam Foster, who sold them on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • The ‘Aviator’ style of sunglasses was popularized after start-up brand Ray-Ban created them for United States Air Force Pilots. They were protective against UV rays, and after the WWII era, they quickly became a fashion statement
  • Today, there are many different styles of sunglasses made by a number of brands. From oversized to aviator to Wayfarer (think classic Ray-Ban style), sunglasses are able to suit any face shape
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