In the previous article, we discussed “Are glasses with nose pads better?”. In this article, let’s talk about “When did sunglasses become fashionable?”.
In the scorching summer, in order to cope with the dazzling sunlight and high temperature, various sun protection and cooling methods are emerging one after another. Products such as air conditioners, sunglasses, sunscreens, and parasols have been invented. Among them, sunglasses are an invention that is very popular among people.
Sunglasses can block strong ultraviolet rays, protect people's eyes, and reduce the probability of eye diseases such as cataracts. At the same time, they can also play a decorative role. Anyone, no matter how they look, will immediately be fashionable when they wear sunglasses. But, did you know sunglasses were not invented to meet the needs of ordinary people in the past? At first, sunglasses were a kind of munitions, that is, special equipment for the military.
Opportunity for invention
Any invention stems from actual needs. As long as life provides opportunities, inventions are everywhere. In 1923, glasses ushered in such an opportunity and opening the way for transformation and upgrading. The early airplanes were convertible. In order to drive normally and protect the eyes, the pilots were equipped with goggles. This kind of goggles can effectively block high winds and dust particles, which are clear and transparent. At that time, these kinds of goggles should be regarded as better goggles. However, the physical truth is always more complicated than expected.
In 1923, a U.S. Air Force lieutenant wore goggles and boarded the plane as usual. This air force lieutenant is experienced and courageous and has accomplished various tasks brilliantly. This time, he was full of spirits and determined to do something left in history, which is to fly a small plane across the Atlantic. As a result, he lived up to expectations and successfully flew to the other side of the ocean. However, in this flight experience, he encountered unusual things. During the flight, he felt some physical discomfort, and it became more serious when he returned to the base. He started nausea, vomiting, and even headache. Soon, he realized the problem due to the unbearable dazzling light. It is the various rays of light from the sun that brought damage to his eyes and body. He thought that he needed a new kind of equipment to solve this problem, so he visited the well-known Bausch & Lomb company at that time.(https://www.koalaeye.com/blogs/our-stories)
The first sunglasses
Bausch & Lomb was established in 1853. After decades of painstaking efforts, by 1912 it had become the largest manufacturer of high-quality optical lenses in the United States. One day in 1923, the Air Force lieutenant came to Bausch & Lomb with great hope, told his troubles, and hoped that Bausch & Lomb would invent a new type of special glasses that could effectively protect eyes. After that, Bausch & Lomb began to develop sunglasses.
They believe that to produce glasses that meet the requirements of the Air Force lieutenant, the key is to invent a lens that can effectively block the violent sunlight at high altitudes. In summer, the sun emits strong ultraviolet and infrared rays, which can damage the cornea, lens, and even the fundus of human eyes. After several years of careful analysis and many experiments, they finally invented a kind of sunglasses with green lenses. The lens of this kind of sunglasses is made of high-quality optical glass. After the heat and chemical treatment, the metal particles inside the green lens can absorb part of the sun's rays, so it can block ultraviolet and infrared rays from entering human eyes. In 1930, the world's first sunglasses were finally born.
Sunglasses are popular
When it was sent to the U.S. Air Force, it immediately aroused everyone's interest. Everyone marveled at its magic because it really achieved the goal of absorbing a lot of light and releasing a small amount of heat. When the pilots put it on, they immediately found that the usual glare of the sun was no longer dazzling, and they even felt a hint of coolness in an unbelievable way. This kind of sunglasses not only won the support of the U.S. government but also quickly used in the U.S. Air Force. Later, this kind of sunglasses was officially named 'Ray-Ban'. Since then, Ray-Ban has become synonymous with sunglasses.
During the Second World War, sunglasses were quickly recognized by the people of the world with the strong military power of the United States. With the smooth sliding, outstanding record, peculiar sunglasses, and chic posture, the US Air Force left a deep impression on the people of all countries. In 1936, Bausch & Lomb introduced sunglasses to the mass market. Sunglasses can not only block the harsh sunlight but also beautify the image of the wearer. Sunglasses are quickly loved by people and gradually become popular all over the world.
The historical origin of sunglasses
In fact, there are other theories about the origin of sunglasses. It is said that in order to block the strong cold wind, the Eskimos once cut two gaps in the wooden slats, which can not only see the object but also reduce the invasion of the cold wind. This is considered to be the origin of sunglasses. There is also a saying that the officer in the ancient Chinese yamen would wear sunglasses specially made of smoky crystals during the trial in order not to expose their emotions. This phenomenon was recorded by Liu Qi in 'Gui Qian Zhi' in the 12th century.
The invention of the Chinese and Eskimos is not strictly sunglasses, but this historical phenomenon tells us that facing real life, human beings will always think unconsciously. At this time, people of different times and spaces may have the same thoughts by coincidence. Any invention is in the stage of improvement and being improved, and the purpose of the invention is to make human life better.
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