Olympic Eyewear Highlights Sunglasses' History

Mar 09, 2014 Olympic Eyewear


The History of Eyeglasses and Sunglasses

The first vision aid dates to 1000 A.D., which was a simple glass sphere that was used to magnify letters. However, Italian inventor, Salvino D'Armate, receives credit for inventing wearable eyeglasses in 1284.

In the 1750s, James Ayscough made double-hinged eyeglasses. The lenses featured tinted glass, which helped reduce glare. Ayscough recommended wearing blue or green tinted glasses to protect eyes from the sun's rays. While these were not strictly made for glare reduction, they combined vision correction with tinted lenses.

Edwin Land is credited with inventing a cellophane-like polarizing filter, this design helped reduce glare. In 1937, Land formed the Polaroid Corporation, using his polarizing design in photography, automobile headlights and sunglasses.

Other interesting sunglasses' historical facts include:

  • 60 – Roman Emperor Nero commissioned polished emerald-green gemstones, which helped reduce the sun's bright glare.
  • 1300 – Smoke-colored quartz lenses were worn by Chinese judges to help conceal expressions, opinions and thoughts during their judicial processes.
  • 1352 – Tommaso da Modena painted a picture that portrayed sunglasses, making it the first recorded evidence of sunglasses being used in Italy.
  • 1430 – Italians saw the first prescription eyeglasses.
  • 1600 – A concave-style lens was developed.
  • 1780 – Benjamin Franklin is credited with inventing the first form of bifocal lenses, which were commonly known as the "Franklin Split."
  • 1929 – The first pair of sunglasses – Foster Grand sunglasses – was sold on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
  • 1930 – The U.S. Army Air Corps asked Bausch & Lomb to create an effective eyeglass that would help protect pilots from high-altitude sun glare.
  • 1936 – Land, as mentioned above, released Ray Ban anti-glare sunglasses.
  • 1937 – Ray Ban's sunglasses are made available to the public.
  • 1953 – Wayfarer became the best-selling sunglasses brand.
  • 1960 – Foster Grand designed an advertising campaign that increased popularity and rapidly became part of everyday language – "Who's that behind those Foster Grants?"

Today sunglasses are an integral part of modern society. A necessary accessory, today's advanced models help protect baby blues from cancer causing sunrays. Allowing people to express their personal tastes, sunglasses are excellent for all types of climates, including overcast, rainy or sunny areas.

Olympic Eyewear offers a wide assortment of wholesale designer sunglasses, which are perfect for small and large retailers alike. These designer wholesale sunglasses are the perfect revenue booster for companies this spring.

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