The History of Sunglasses

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It’s hard to imagine a world without sunglasses, but for a long time, most humans went without them. Here we take a look at how sunglasses came into being:

The first sunglassesThe History of Sunglasses

The earliest known sunglasses were not the kinds of sunglasses we know and love today. Instead, they were “sun goggles.” Invented by the Inuit nearly 2000 years ago, they were often made out of walrus ivory and had small slits for your eyes to look through. These slits protected the Inuit’s eyes from the harsh sun while also allowing them to see where they were going.

From gladiators to magistrates

While the gladiators themselves didn’t wear sunglasses, it is said that the Roman Emperor Nero would watch gladiator fights through polished gemstones in order to reduce sun glare. Chinese magistrates in the 12th century also had a version of sunglasses, often wearing smoke-tinted quartz lenses in court proceedings. And in the 18th century, a man named James Ayscough created blue and green-tinted glasses to help improve poor eyesight.

The invention of modern-day sunglasses

It took until the 20th century, though, for the sunglasses we know and love to come about. In the early 1900s, yellow and brown-tinted glasses were created to help sufferers of syphilis (as syphilis causes light-sensitivity). It wasn’t until 1929, however, that a man by the name of Sam Foster began mass-producing sunglasses for the market, and soon they became associated with fashion, rather than health, as they were popularized by major celebrities of the time.

Now-a-days, sunglasses are associated with both fashion and health. Not only do they help us look good, they protect our eyes as well. That’s why it’s so important that everyone has a pair of sunglasses, no matter the season. And if you find you’re in need of a pair, then check out Real Shade’s selection. Our sunglasses are both fashionable and protective, providing 100% UVA and UVB protection.

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