You would be fascinated to know that the Roman emperor, Nero, observed gladiator combats by holding polished green emeralds in front of his eyes.
A precursor of sunglasses was known to exist around the 12th century in China. The purpose of these sunglasses wasn’t to protect the eyes from the sun, but they were worn by Chinese judges to conceal their facial expressions. Smoked coloured quartz lenses acted as a veil to their eyes which kept their decision a secret till it was revealed.
Later, in 1430 vision correcting dark glasses were introduced in Italy. Much later than that, James Ayscough bought sunglasses for the public in 1750. After some research, he concluded that green or blue tints helped in correcting certain vision related impairments. Protecting the eyes from the sun’s glare was not a concern at this time. In the early 19th and 20th century, yellow and brown tints began to be prescribed to people suffering from syphilis as one of it’s symptom was sensitivity to light.
Another name which lead to the popularity of sunglasses was Sam Foster, founder of Foster Grant eyewear. Affordable sunglasses were produced in large quantities and sold on the Atlantic City Broadwalk. The popularity of the company continued to grow with their “Who’s That Behind Those Foster Grants?” Polarized lenses began to be used in sunglasses by Edwin H Land, after he achieved a patent for his polaroid filter.
The popularity of sunglasses soared high when high quality sunglasses began to be made to cater the needs of the army. It was so much of a breakthrough in technology and style, that from celebrities to civilians, everyone wanted them. Around the time for the second World War, Bausch and Lomb created classy sunglasses for the Army Air Corps. They offered optimum protection by reflecting the harmful rays of the sun. It was a style which was wanted by all, and thus, the world saw the birth of aviators.
Since then, there have been a lot of developments in the making of sunglasses. The sunglasses now feature a variety of lenses, various styles, frames made of plastic, metal and other materials like wood. The lenses are UV protected and impact-resistant. The frames are durable, light-weight and non-allergenic. There are several styles available like wrap-around, aviators, wayfarers, butterfly, cat’s eye, retro etc. You can also pick different kinds of sunglasses according to a specific sport you are involved in.
Many designers bring their alluring new collection in sunglasses to us. Sunglasses are not only available in high end designer stores but also at different websites. With their availability getting so easy, you wouldn’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on buying them.
Men, women and kids indulge in buying and wearing sunglasses to protect their eyes and exhibit an impressive personality. It has become one important accessory that dictates fashion in a unique way of it’s own.