While even in prehistoric time Inuit peoples wore flattened walrus ivory glasses to block harmful reflected rays of the sun, the earliest historical reference to sunglasses dates back to ancient China and Rome. The Roman emperor Nero watched gladiator fights through polished gems.
In China, sunglasses were used in the 12th century or possible earlier. These sunglasses were made out of lenses that were flat panes of smoky quartz. They offered no corrective powers nor they protect from harmful UV rays but did protect the eyes from glare. Ancient documents describe the use of such crystal sunglasses by judges in ancient Chinese courts to hide their facial expression when they interrogated witnesses.
Content From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunglasses
In the early 20th century, they were also known as sun cheaters (cheaters being an American slang term for glasses
James Ayscough began experimenting with tinted lenses in spectacles in the mid-18th century, around 1752. These were not “sunglasses” as that term is now used; Ayscough believed that blue- or green-tinted glass could correct for specific vision impairments. Protection from the Sun’s rays was not a concern for him.
Content From: https://www.racked.com/2015/4/6/8349545/sunglasses-history
By the 19th century, sunglasses started offering greater protection from the light and were being worn by a much younger population, namely those suffering from syphilis. In part, this was because sensitivity to light is a symptom of the STD. Additionally, it was easy to suspend a metal nose covering between the sunglasses.
You see, this was very helpful since one of the more notable symptoms of syphilis is that it causes noses to rot off. Or, at least, it often leads to saddle nose and skin deterioration around the nostrils. People in the late stages of the disease would often wear contraptions that looked a little bit like those glasses-and-fake-nose accessories you see on Halloween.
Content From: Content From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunglasses
In the early 1920s, the use of sunglasses started to become more widespread, especially among movie stars. It is commonly believed that this was to avoid recognition by fans, but an alternative reason sometimes given is that they often had red eyes from the powerful arc lamps that were needed due to the extremely slow speed film stocks used.
Some More Recent Sunglasses History/Patents:
In 1916 ‘Sun-glasses’ were invented by Fred C Clarke and were used primarily for baseball players, “My invention relates to improvements in eye-glasses or spectacles particularly adapted for the use of baseball players whose positions when in the field are such that they are forced to look toward the sun in facing the diamond or the batter.”
Edward Land (Co-Founder/Owner of Polaroid) used the technology on glasses that would be ‘polarized.’ Note: he held over 500 patents.
It’s arguable who invented Aviator Sunglasses. Many attribute them to the company Ray Ban (part of a company called Bausch and Lomb) who made “Ray-Ban Aviators” in 1937 but it’s believed that a company called American optical made them for the Air Force in 1935-a few years prior. http://theeyewearblog.com/the-first-aviator-sunglasses-revealed-were-they-ray-bans-part-four/
Many also believe that if Tom Cruise didn’t wear them in several of his films they would have lost popularity-Thank you Tom?!? They were originally made for pilots and fitted with green lenses to cut out glare. A year or so later they were rebranded and mass produced.
These highly recognizable Oakley glasses were patented in 2003. Oakley holds more than 600 patents for eyewear and performance gear.
At Mohr IP Law we believe your future is so bright you will want to wear shades. We also think it’s possibly to work hard and stay classy at the same time. The sun is finally shining and so are your ideas. Protect your eyes and your ideas-let’s get your intellectual property projects going! Contact us today for a free 30 minute no-cost attorney consultation.