We all agree that sunglasses are another complement when we go out in the hottest seasons. Not only as eye protection, but also as another element of our set to be fashionable. Therefore, when you go to buy lenses you usually look for glasses according to your face, to find the ideal glasses according to the shape of your face.
But have you ever wondered what the first sunglasses were? The history of the first sunglasses is older than you think, so if you are curious to know who invented them and how it happened, today we tell you about their origin.
Who invented sunglasses?
When we talk about the first sunglasses, there are people who think that these were created in World War II to be used by aviators – although it was really the military who popularized them the most. But you must travel further back in time to know the origin of the first sunglasses.
You should know that, despite what many people think, the first sunglasses were not created with the intention of protecting the eyes from sunlight. Delving into its origin, we know that the first sunglasses took place in the twelfth century in China. That’s right, it was in China where this technique of darkening quartz crystals was born, but with the aim of being used by Chinese judges – in this way they could hide their eyes and expressions in trials and not relieve their final verdict.
However, the Eskimos also used some of the first sunglasses, although not understood as what we know today as sunglasses, since they were made of bones and had no crystals. They were characterized by a groove they had in the center to prevent the reflection of light on the ice from blinding them.
History of sunglasses
If we continue traveling throughout history we will see that, around the year 1430, the first darkened prescription glasses appeared in China. They came from Italy and were still used for judges. However, until 1752 there were no evolutions in sunglasses, which was when the well-known English optician James Ayscough began his trials with the lenses. His intention was to find solutions to eye problems concerning the sensitivity of sunlight.
These glasses with darkened lenses, which worked as sunglasses, became popular and, above all, were used by people with syphilis, since a symptom was hypersensitivity to light. If we fast forward to the twentieth century, we know that sunglasses still had a somewhat high cost to acquire them, but they were seen a lot in celebrities.
First sunglasses: First production
You already know the history and origin of the first sunglasses, but if we talk about the first sunglasses that had a production at the enterprise level, you have to know that it was the Foster Grant company who carried it out, an American company that was founded by Sam Foster. We are talking about the year 1929, when the first sunglasses aimed at people walking on the beaches came on the market – although today is when you can find different types of glasses frames.
This company was later famous during the sixties for having transformed the concept of sunglasses, turning them not only into a way to protect your eyes but also into a more fashionable accessory. Above all, they were promoted by famous people, enhancing the concept of sunglasses as a fashion element.
In 1933, aviators began using the first sunglasses to avoid glare from sunlight when performing maneuvers in the air. That is why the United States Army commissioned the company Bausch & Lomb – specialist in optics – to manufacture glasses with dark lenses that protect the eyes of pilots, what we know as sunglasses.
It was in 1937, when the first Ray-Ban glasses were created and began to be sold, where their name means “barrier against lightning”. And it is here, during World War II, when the famous Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses were born. And after the war, these sunglasses became very popular in the male audience due to the image that was created with the army aviators. And currently, you can find in our online store several models of sunglasses Ray-Ban Aviador.
If we follow its evolution, we will see that in the sixties, with the hippie movement, sunglasses continued to be a more fashionable accessory. Having access to a wide variety of models, colors and designs.
As you can see, it is somewhat complex to answer the question of who invented the first sunglasses, throughout the history and evolution of sunglasses different inventions or creations with similar or different purposes are observed. But one thing is clear, and that is that today sunglasses have become a complement used by millions of people. And that, according to your needs, if you want a lighter or more creative glasses, you will prefer sunglasses with metal frame or sunglasses of pasta.