Think about a bright sunny day; would you dare to go outside without sunglasses? Or if you have a visual impairment, would you be able to do anything without wearing your eyeglasses? Today, let’s have a look at how our ancestors made our lives easier one more time by inventing glasses.
Even though there are many questions about the invention of glasses, historians meet at the same point that the first wearable pair of glasses were invented in the 13th century in Italy. They also give the same name, Salvino D’Armate, as the inventor of eyeglasses. The first eyeglasses were made with convex lenses bulged outward in the middle, and the main purpose was enlarging objects to be seen more easily. The frames were so heavy and made of wood, lead or copper, and they needed to be held by hands. In 1727, after almost 400 years, a British optician made fixed eyeglasses frame which could be placed over the ears and nose. Thus, modern eyeglasses were placed into history.
The invention of sunglasses has a more interesting story. They were actually a flat pane of smoked quartz. However, they were not made for correcting the vision, or for protecting eyes from harmful UV rays. Chinese judges particularly used them for hiding facial expression in the court when they interrogated witnesses!
Modern-type sunglasses became popular when Hollywood stars began using them to shield their eyes from bright studio lights. In addition, the famous Ray Ban company was the one that designed an anti-glare aviator style sunglasses using polarized lens technology in the late 1930s, and they were produced especially for pilots. Those sunglasses were designed with a slightly drooping frame perimeter to optimally shield the pilots’ eyes when they looked down at their instrument panel.
Posted on Feb. 10, 2017