Do you know the history of sunglasses?

World Sunglasses Day is celebrated on Sunday 27 June. But, do you know who invented them for the first time? If you are curious, read on!
Many of you will think that the birth of sunglasses goes back to a few decades ago… Actually, we need to take a bigger leap back in time to go back to the first creations.

Inuit first sunglasses

Many scientists believe that the first to have conceived an object similar to todays glasses were the Inuit, more commonly known as the Eskimos.
The frames designed were usually made with animal bones and had no lenses, but only small cracks.

eskimos first sugnlasses

Romans emerald sunglasses

Instead, it was the Romans who used the lenses for the first time as they are used today.
In fact, the emperor Nero used to look at gladiator challenges through emeralds.
It seems that the green color of the stone eased the sight. Besides, if cut in a certain way, it was believed to corrected small defects of myopia.

emepror nero green emerald lens

China quartz lens

At the same time of Nero, in China, stones began to be used, more specifically smoked quartz slabs, as blackout glasses. In fact, in addition to being used by the wealthiest families, they were used by court judges to hide their gaze before judgments, so as not to let their emotions shine through.

china smoked quartz lenses

Ancient Venice sunglasses

Back in Italy, we move to Venice. In the 18th century, because of the light that reflected in the lagoon water, nobility began to wear glasses with green lenses.
The peculiarity of the so-called “Gondola Glass”, was to protect perfectly from UV rays, despite these would be discovered only a hundred years later.

venice doge sunglasses

James Ayscough colored lenses

In 1752, the English artisan James Ayscough began to make visual experiments with colored lenses.
He believed that certain colored lenses could solve visual problems.
Although this theory was completely unfounded, it was in this way that the first colored sunglasses were born.

james ayscough colored lenses

Diseases and vision problem

At the beginning of the twentieth century, syphilis began to spread throughout Europe. One of the effects of this disease was the strong sensitivity to light. It was for this reason that doctors began to prescribe glasses with colored lenses, mainly in amber and brown, to patients.

Sunglasses and pilots

In the 1920s, American Lieutenant John A. Macready, after a hot air balloon flight, experienced some damage to his eyesight. For this reason, he asked Bausch & Lomb to develop special glasses to protect the pilots.

pilot John arthur macready

In fact, after important technological developments, even military pilots, being able to push higher and higher with their planes, found serious problems because of the strong sunlight.

Sunglasses in our everyday life

In 1929, Sam Foster started the first eyewear company, no longer just for the military.

It was at this moment that the sunglasses entered the everyday life with an outstretched foot. The real breakthrough came in 1980 when the company Ray Ban released the iconic Aviator model on the market, became famous with Tom Cruise in the movie Top Gun.

tom cruise ray ban sunglasses 3025

From classic models to those with the most eccentric frames, sunglasses are without a doubt the accessory that can not miss in our lives! Visit our website and find out many novelties!