When were sunglasses invented?
Sunglasses, or tinted glasses that protect the eyes from bright light and harmful UV rays, have been around in various forms for thousands of years. The Roman emperor Nero was said to have watched gladiator fights through polished gems to reduce glare.
However, the modern version of sunglasses, as we know them today, was first developed in the mid-18th century. In 1752, James Ayscough, an English optician, created glasses with blue or green-tinted lenses in an attempt to help people with certain vision impairments. He believed that the tinted lenses would help to correct certain color vision deficiencies.
In the 1930s, sunglasses gained popularity as a fashion accessory, and their use became more widespread. However, it wasn't until the 1960s, with the rise of beach culture and the popularity of outdoor sports, that sunglasses became a mass-market product and an essential item for protecting the eyes from harmful UV rays.
Today, sunglasses are available in a wide range of styles and colors, and they are worn by people all over the world for both practical and fashion reasons. Sunglasses not only protect the eyes from UV radiation and glare, but they can also help to reduce eye strain and fatigue, making them a valuable accessory for anyone who spends time outdoors.
Who invented sunglasses?
The invention of sunglasses, as we know them today, cannot be attributed to a single individual, as the development of tinted lenses for eyewear has a long history spanning several centuries.
However, the modern version of sunglasses, with their distinctive dark lenses designed to protect the eyes from harmful UV radiation, is believed to have been invented by an American entrepreneur named Sam Foster. In 1929, Foster started selling tinted eyewear in Atlantic City, New Jersey, under the name Foster Grant. The glasses were initially marketed as a way to protect the eyes from the sun's glare, and they became popular among beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Around the same time, Bausch & Lomb, a company that had been making optical equipment since the mid-19th century, began developing sunglasses for pilots to reduce glare at high altitudes. In 1936, the company introduced the Ray-Ban Aviator, which quickly became popular not only among pilots but also among the general public.
Since then, numerous other companies and designers have created their versions of sunglasses, and they have become ubiquitous accessories for people all over the world.
Modern sunglass styles
There are many modern sunglass styles available today, catering to a variety of tastes and preferences. Some popular styles include:
- Aviator: Originally designed for pilots, aviator sunglasses have a teardrop-shaped lens and thin metal frames. They have become a classic style and are often worn by both men and women.
- Wayfarer: This style of sunglass features a trapezoidal shape and thick plastic frames. They were first popularized in the 1950s and 1960s and have remained a popular style ever since.
- Round: Round sunglasses have a circular lens and often have thin metal frames. They were popularized by John Lennon in the 1960s and have since become a popular style for both men and women.
- Cat-eye: Cat-eye sunglasses have a distinctive upswept shape at the outer edges of the frames, giving them a feline appearance. They were popular in the 1950s and 1960s and have recently made a comeback in popularity.
- Square: Square sunglasses have a square-shaped lens and often have thick frames. They are a popular style for both men and women and can come in a variety of colors and materials.
- Sport: Sport sunglasses are designed for outdoor activities, such as running, cycling, and hiking. They often have wraparound frames and polarized lenses to protect from glare and UV rays.
- Oversized: Oversized sunglasses have larger-than-average frames and lenses, giving them a bold and glamorous look. They have become a popular style for women in recent years.