Sunglasses, like many accessories, stemmed from a very practical purpose: protecting your eyes from the intensity of light to enhance your vision when it’s impaired by light or glare. Today, they are no longer just a practical tool. They are, without any doubt, a way to showcase personal style and flair, with some owning multiple pairs so they can match the right pair of shades with their outfits, occasion and mood. In most scenarios, eye doctors will recommend wearing protective eyewear such as sunglasses anytime the sun is out regardless of the season.
Here's where sunglasses show up in History:
Dating as far back as prehistoric times, the Inuit people would cover their eyes with rudimentary, slatted goggles made from walrus ivory that would help to shield their eyes from the harsh rays of the sun.
Roman Emperor Nero would watch the gladiators battle through emeralds he placed in front of his eyes. While they would distort his vision, but they provided him some much-needed relief from the reflective rays of the hot summer sun.
In China, people would use smoked quartz crystals to combat the blinding glare.
The judges in China’s top courts would wear prescribed sunglasses, not as a method of sun protection but to conceal their eyes while questioning witnesses on the stand. Sunglasses have since become synonymous with James Bond-style secret agents and Secret Service bodyguards charged with protecting high risk or affluent members of society.
In 1752, a man by the name of James Ayscough began to experiment with tinted lenses by placing them in spectacles. According to documentation, Ayscough believed that glasses tinted in a blue or green color could correct the eyesight of visually impaired people.
When syphilis became widespread throughout the early twentieth century, doctors would begin to prescribe amber and brown tinted glasses, since the sensitivity to light was such a pronounced symptom of the disease.
By the 1900’s, sunglasses had achieved widespread appeal and critical acclaim by the masses. As the trend hit America, movie stars began wearing them in public to prevent fans from recognizing them. This trend in Hollywood, like any trend in Hollywood, increased the mass appeal, and film buffs from around the world began adopting the large framed sunglasses worn by the Hollywood elite.
To read more about how sunglasses work, the types of sunglasses, how sunglasses should fit, and more read the full article on Sunglasses Guide For Men from Gentleman's Gazette
With over 30 years experience licensed optician Joe Bushara and his highly experienced team, bring you the latest trends in frames and technologies in lenses from around the world.