We all agree that sunglasses are another complement when we go out in the hottest times. Not only as protection for the eyes, but also as one more element of our outfit to be fashionable. For this reason, when you go to buy glasses, you usually look 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 will tell you about their origin.
Who invented sunglasses?
When we talk about the first sunglasses, there are people who think that they 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 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 12th century in China. That’s right, it was in China that 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 the 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 by sunglasses, since they were made of bones and had no lenses. They were characterized by a slot 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 lenses. His intention was to find solutions to eye problems related to the sensitivity of sunlight.
These glasses with darkened lenses, which functioned as sunglasses, became popular and, above all, were used by people with syphilis, since one symptom was hypersensitivity to light. If we go to the 20th century, we know that sunglasses still had a somewhat high cost to acquire them, but they were seen a lot on 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 company-wide production, you have to know that it was the Foster Grant company that carried it out, an American company that It was founded by Sam Foster. We are talking about the year 1929, when the first sunglasses aimed at people who walked on the beaches came on the market – although today is when you can find different types of spectacle frames.
This company was later famous during the sixties for having transformed the concept of sunglasses, making them not only a way to protect your eyes but also a more fashionable accessory. Above all, they were promoted by famous people, promoting the concept of sunglasses as a fashion element.
In 1933, aviators began to wear the first sunglasses to avoid glare from sunlight when maneuvering in the air. For this reason, the United States Army commissioned the company Bausch & Lomb – an optical specialist – to manufacture glasses with dark lenses that protect the eyes of the pilots, what we know as sunglasses.
It was in 1937, when the first Ray-Ban glasses were created and started to be sold, where their name means “barrier against rays”. 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 with the male public due to the image that was created with the army aviators. And currently, you can find in our online store several models of Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses.
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 it is that today sunglasses have become an accessory used by millions of people. And that, depending on your needs, if you want lighter or more creative glasses, you will prefer sunglasses with metal frames or plastic sunglasses.