In the previous article, we discussed “Are Rayban aviator sunglasses any good still or what can you recommend?”. In this article, let’s talk about “How did aviator sunglasses become popular?”.
A pair of high-quality sunglasses are necessary for us. We rely on the enlargement and reduction of the pupil to adjust the light flux. When the intensity of the light exceeds the adjustment ability of the eyes, it will cause harm. Sunglasses can effectively block the light and alleviate the damage to our eyes caused by strong light. Sunglasses now have an anti-ultraviolet function. In addition to protecting eyesight, it can also prevent the skin around our eyes from producing fine lines due to ultraviolet rays.
The Earliest 'Sunglasses'
The earliest 'sunglasses' can be traced back to 2000 years ago. Inuit people living in the Arctic used ivory, antlers, driftwood, bones, etc. to make a strip of goggles to reduce the glare reflected by the snow. At that time, there was no 'lens' in the goggles. Inuit people cut two small slits in the center of these opaque materials to minimize the incidence of light while ensuring that the line of sight is not blocked. This form of 'goggles' also brings them an additional benefit-more focused sight when hunting.(https://www.koalaeye.com/blogs/our-stories)
The Prototype Of Modern Sunglasses
It was not until the 18th century that the prototype of modern sunglasses began to appear. James Ayscough, a doctor, believed that blue and green glass lenses can improve specific visual impairment. And he made a series of attempts. He used metal wires to fix the lenses together and the frame continues to the ears so that the glasses can be fixed on the face.
The popularity of modern sunglasses
In the early 20th century, Sunglasses began to have modern functions that is to prevent glare from entering the eyes. Patients who contracted syphilis at that time developed symptoms of photophobia, so they began to wear sunglasses made of yellow and brown lenses.
But soon, starting in the 1920s, sunglasses became a symbol of celebrity. Movie stars first put on sunglasses because the flash was too dazzling. Since then, the sunglasses have become completely popular.
In 1929, a businessman named Sam Foster locked in the public’s growing enthusiasm for sunglasses and began mass production of sunglasses made of plastic. He opened the store on the beach in Atlanta, USA, which was extremely popular. This is the predecessor of Foster Grant, the largest sunglasses brand in the United States.
In 1937, 20 million pairs of sunglasses were sold. The following year, 'LIFE MAGAZINE' reported: 'new fad for wear on city streets.'
At the same time, the polarized lens invented by Edwin H. Land (one of the founders of Polaroid) came out. The eyewear brand Ray-Ban founded by Bausch & Lomb used this lens to design aviator sunglasses, which were widely used by US Air Force pilot during World War II.
The popularity of Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses
Speaking of sunglasses, the Ray-Ban brand must be mentioned. During World War II, the aviator sunglasses launched by Ray-Ban were widely purchased by outdoor enthusiasts and those who aspired to become aviators. At this time, the aviator sunglasses at this time are not yet well-known to the public. But in the 1970s, it was loved by many rock singers and turned into a symbol of the 1970s. Regarding this point, we can see from Hedi Slimane's 2020 Spring/Summer series designed for Celine. In this series like a tribute to the 70s, almost all models wear the iconic aviator glasses of the 70s.
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