The history of sunglasses is related to walruses and their ivory-like tusks. The Inuit and Eskimos, in prehistoric times, made glasses with narrow slits to protect the eyes from the rays of the sun reflected from the glittering snow. History goes on to say that Roman Emperor Nero observed gladiatorial battles through gemstones. Some historians say that Nero used the polished surface of the jewel as a mirror to admire his character. The first reliable data on the use of sunglasses water in China in the 12th century. Flat tiles made of a particular type of quartz did not have UV protection or vision correction but became popular. They were liked by the judges to hide their eyes while questioning the defendants. Nowadays, the glasses have a cool look that gives a mystery and prevents direct eye contact. That’s why they are a favorite detail with professional poker players. From the Chinese city of Xiamen, about 120 million glasses with tinted glass go out to the rest of the world annually. That’s why Xiamen is the world center for sunglasses production. Italy contributes immeasurably to the design and production of sunglasses.
James Ayscough, an English optician and microscope maker, has been making sunglasses with handles that have been hinged to glass for half a century. Ayscough optician offered clear, green and blue glasses. These glasses are the forerunners of today’s sunglasses. From that time, he records the use of sunglasses. Scientist Antoine Lavoaise used sunglasses at the time. During the 19th century, sunglasses were given to patients with syphilis due to their increased sensitivity to light. In the early 1920s, goggles gained popularity with the mass appearance of actors. The original lighting during filming caused intense redness of the eyes. The cast had trouble going out into daylight after filming. The celluloid material was created in the mid-19th century as a synthetic replacement for ivory. Celluloid is the material behind the creation of the original film magic that is being used to mass produce sunglasses. Sam Foster was an American businessman dealing with plastics after the end of World War I. 1929 Foster launches celluloid colored glass production after numerous experiments and success in the production of hair combs. Foster’s first market was Atlantic City beaches. In the United States of America sold to 120 million sunglasses in the coming years. 1936 Edwin H. Land protects a patent for polarized glasses called “Polaroid”.
In the coming years, sunglasses have become an integral fashion item and an item of equipment for military pilots, climbers, drivers, researchers, actors, athletes and astronauts. Today, many young designers make frames made of recycled material (skateboards, surfboards, discarded wood, scrap metal). The Hipster subculture also presents this fashion detail as a unique and sought after item. A contrast to recycled wood are frames made of titanium. The choice is diverse. It is important to choose quality glass and the protection it provides to the eyes.
Products that meet European standards are CE marked. The standard prescribes an “O” for insufficient UV protection, “2” for sufficient UHV protection, “6” for good UHV protection, “7” for complete UHV protection, which means that they miss less than 5% of wavelengths up to 380nm.
The following markings (except rules for flammability and use of non-toxic materials) should appear on the frames:
Category 0: 80-100% bandwidth for indoor use and sunny days.
Category 1: 43-80% throughput for low sun exposure.
Category 2: 18-43% throughput for medium strength.
Category 3: 8-18% transmittance for bright sunshine and light from snow or water.
Category 5: 3-8% bandwidth for intensive protection on glaciers and high mountains (not to be used while driving).