When were sunglasses invented?

Do we actually know when were sunglasses invented?

Sunglasses are undoubtedly one of the most practical (as well as stylish) inventions that the world has ever seen. Not only do they help to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun, but they are the perfect fashion accessory, helping you to look your very best when you’re out and about on a sunny day or relaxing by the pool.

If you love designer sunglasses, you might be wondering when sunglasses invented. In fact, did you know that the history of sunglasses can be traced back to Roman Emperor Nero, who used to hold polished light emerald green gems up to his eyes in order to watch gladiator competitions? To get you up to speed, in our latest blog post we look at the history of our favourite fashion accessory in more detail – we hope you pick up a useful fact or two!

When were sunglasses invented first?

It is thought that sunglasses (as we know them today) were invented between 1268 and 1289. In a painting by Tommaso da Modena in 1352, a person is shown wearing sunglasses, the first painting that is known to include them.

Who wore sunglasses at this time?

Before 1430, sunglasses used to be worn in the Courts of China by judges. However, the smoky quartz lenses and flat-glassed panes were worn to conceal their expressions and to avoid giving away the outcome of their decisions, rather than protect their eyes from the sun!

When did sunglasses develop into the ones we know today?

People started to realise the health benefits of wearing prescription glasses in the 1600s, especially in regards to helping the elderly to see better. Moving forward to the mid 18th century, and James Ayscough had started to explore the use of sunglasses for correcting optical impairments by developing blue and green corrective lenses.

As time went on, the frames of glasses frames were made from leather, bones and metal, and sidepieces were also added in the form of strips of ribbon that looped around the ears. However, the Chinese had also decided to add ceramic weights to the ends of the ribbons, which made it easier for them to stay in place, which led to the invention of solid sidepieces by Edward Scarlett in 1730.

Following this, by the start of the 20th century sunglasses had started to be used to protect eyes from the glare of the sun. Sam Foster began to sell mass produced sunglasses in the USA in 1929, which led to the Army Air Corps asking Bausch & Lomb in the 1930s to design some sunglasses that would help their pilots to see better when the sun was shining. Leading on from this, Ray Ban developed their popular  Aviator sunglasses in1937, and the fashionable trend for wearing sunglasses had arrived – the rest, as they say, is history!

Now that you know the history of sunglasses, you might be thinking about your next designer sunnies purchase. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place because at Designer Sunnies we stock a wide range of designer sunglasses from big name designer sunnies brands such as Ray Ban and Dolce & Gabbana, all at fantastic prices. Why not treat yourself and visit our online sunglasses shop to buy a new pair for yourself today?

Which fact about the history of sunglasses did you find the most interesting? We’d love to know, so make sure you join in the conversation by leaving your comments below.