The History Of Sunglasses
Sunglasses have played a major role in clothing accessories for decades. We wear them at the beach, going out on a sunny day, hitting the slopes during the winter or most importantly, to ensure the proper health of our eyes. But where did the concept of sunglasses stem from exactly?
The Early Years
The first pair of sunglasses were used by the Inuit. The glasses were flattened pieces of ivory with slits cut in them to block exposure to harmful rays. Sunglasses with lenses made of smoky quartz used in China date back to the 12th century or even earlier. There are documents that suggest that these kinds of sunglasses were used by judges in court to hide their facial expressions when questioning witnesses. This is a similar tactic that we still see today used by Texas Hold’em players.
The earliest form of ‘tinted lenses’ in glasses date back to around the mid-18th century. Developed by James Ayscough, he believed that blue or green-tinted glass could correct for specific vision impairments. Protection from the sun’s harmful rays however, was not a concern for him at that time.
Rise in Popularity
During the 1920’s, the use of sunglasses became far more common. Famous actors used them to help avoid being recognized by fans or media; a tactic that we still see being used by today’s celebrities.
The first massed produced sunglasses came courtesy of Sam Foster in 1929. He discovered a market along the beaches of Atlantic City and started selling them under the name of Foster Grant from a variety store along the Boardwalk.
By 1938, Life Magazine wrote an article about how sunglasses were becoming “a new fad to wear on city streets… a favorite affectation of thousands of women all over the U.S.”. The article also estimated that around 20 million sunglasses were sold in 1937, but estimated that only about 25% of American wearers needed them to protect their eyes.
Today, the evolution of sunglasses has come a long way. The technology we’ve used in Vigor sunglasses ranges from polarized and scratch resistant lenses to different kinds of frame styles/materials that allow an optimal fit, to different coloured lenses. All of which ensures that your pair of Vigor glasses are catered especially to you, regardless of what you’re doing.