Recognized on June 27th, National Sunglasses Day is an annual commemorative campaign brought to you by The Vision Council celebrating sunnies and sharing the importance of UV eye protection. National Sunglasses Day reminds everyone that wearing sunglasses is not only fashionable and fun, but also a health necessity to protect the eyes from the sun’s UV rays.
During National Sunglasses Day and throughout the year, about the potentially harmful effects of unprotected UV eye exposure. The Vision Council offers vital information including the latest facts, studies, and tips to help protect one’s eyes without sacrificing style, and how to incorporate popular fashion trends into one’s eyewear wardrobe!
Join the movement that reached more than 900 million last year by sharing a #SunglassSelfie on #NationalSunglassesDay! Celebrated on June 27th.
The history of sunglasses stretches as far back as 14th century China, where judges used eyewear made of smoke-coloured quartz to mask their emotions. Fast-forward 600 years and modern sunglasses as we know them today were first marketed by entrepreneur Sam Foster on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
- The debate on whether eyebrows should show when wearing sunglass is unresolved. Many think it is a matter of face shape; others view the presence of eyebrows above the glass rim as a heinous crime. There appears to be no right answer.
- The Chinese of 12th Century are credited with inventing the first sunglasses, both to protect the eyes from the glare of the sun and to completely hide their facial expressions in the court of law. The ideas behind sunglasses are much older, however, with the first examples being Inuit snow goggles. These were designed to decrease the amount of eye exposed to the sun’s rays.
- British singer Elton John is commonly known for his love of wacky sunglasses. So much so that he even inspired 1998 play ‘Elton John’s Glasses’. It is no surprise then that Elton John is thought to own the largest personal collection of sunglasses in the world at around 30,000 pairs.
- Polaroid sunglasses offering UV protection were invented as early as 1936. Before that time, tinted glasses just reduced the glare and amount of sunlight exposure to the eye.
- The achingly famous and fashionable Ray-ban Aviators a la Top Gun are a product of science, not fashion. Ray Ban sunglasses were originally designed for US Air Service pilots by medical equipment manufacturers Bausch and Lomb and were intended to reduce sickness and headaches caused not by the glare from the sun but from intense hues of the sky at high altitude. They mainly used the above mentioned Polaroid technology and a green tinted lens to create them.
- Just one Luxury Goods Company produces 75% of the world’s designer sunglasses. Labels such as Chanel, Burberry, and Ralph Lauren are all designed and made by Italian company Luxottica and they also own Oakley and Ray-ban brands.
- The most expensive pair of sunglasses on eBay was Elvis Presley’s famous Madison Square Garden’s. They sold for $250,000.
- Every 14 minutes an American loses, breaks or sits on a pair of sunglasses.
- In 2005, men’s sunglasses were selling every 90 seconds on eBay.
- In 1929, Sam Foster sold the first pair of sunglasses, Foster Grants, at the Woolworth on Atlantic City Boardwalk. He started the Foster Grant Company in 1919 to make combs.
- In 1936, Edwin H. Land combined his lens making skills with his patented Polaroid filter, creating the first polarized sunnies.
- In the 1930s, the Army Air Corps commissioned the optical firm of Bausch & Lomb to produce a highly-effective spectacle that would protect pilots from the dangers of high altitude glare. Company physicists and opticians perfected a dark green tint that absorbed light in the yellow band of the spectrum.