See my New sunglasses?

Let’s talk about sunglasses!

Image details from

Michael Kors, designer sunglasses.

History of Sunglasses

-The Inuit tribes of north Canada and Greenland made the first sunglasses: bone or wood disks with slits in them, to block glare from snow.

-The oldest surviving pair of Inuit sunglasses is from the 1200s, but the Inuit likely had them for centuries before then.

-In ancient Rome, Emperor Nero wore emerald sunglasses to watch gladiator matches.

-Starting in the 1360s, judges in China wore dark rock crystal sunglasses in court to hide their reactions to proceedings.

-China started importing European clear glass spectacles in the 1430s. They smoked the lenses to create better sunglasses for their judges.

-Europeans were using darkened glasses for sunlight protection by 1591.

-The first clip-on sunglasses, which attached to clear glasses with a hinge, were used in Europe in the 1600s.

-James Ayscough made the first tinted sunglasses in 1752. His glasses came in blue and green. He thought clear glass spectacles might damage wearers’ sight with too much glare.

-Polarized sunglasses were invented by Edwin Lund (US) in 1929. He later started the Polaroid Corporation, which sold polarized sunglasses as well as camera equipment.

-Sunglasses became associated with celebrities in the silent film era (early 1900s). Movie stars used them to avoid being recognized, and for eye protection against the intense movie set lighting of the time.

-Sam Foster was the first person to sell sunglasses to the public. In 1929, he started the company Foster Grant, with one store on the Atlantic City, NJ, US boardwalk.

-Bausch & Lomb invented Ray-Ban sunglasses for the US Air Force, to protect fighter pilots’ eyes from glare in flight while still allowing them to look down at their instrument panels.

-NASA invented special sunglasses for astronauts to use in space, starting with the Apollo moon missions. Space sunglasses are extra-durable, and have a thin gold coating to protect against the increased UV radiation in space. From Wikipedia

Designer Sunglasses