June 27 is National Sunglass Day. This day is all about promoting sun and vision safety to protect your eyes in bright conditions, but this holiday is also a great time to appreciate the exciting and stylish history of sunglasses, as well as some of the exciting facts that have made sunglasses such an integral accessory in modern style, both on National Sunglasses Day and all year long.
Vintage Sunglass Facts and History
For most people, sunglasses are something we slip on in the car when the sun’s out or pick up as we leave the house right. A pair of sunglasses is often a must have item for comfortable and a few additional pairs enable you to have a pair of frames for every outfit.
While your sunglasses may be a standard a part of your daily look, these are some of the most exciting facts about sunglasses:
- The First Sun Protection Eyewear is 2000 Years Old – Crafted by the Inuit people, this eyewear protected hunters’ eyes and cut down on the intense glare from the snow during Arctic summers. The Inuit made their sunglasses by carving a narrow slot into a piece of whalebone or driftwood that allowed just enough space to look through without too much light getting in.
- Doctors Prescribed Certain Lens Colors – Early opticians prescribed certain lens colors for different vision, medical, and health benefits. Blue was thought to fix some vision problems, amber was a color for weak eyes, and other colors could supposedly boost health.
- Hollywood Made Sunglasses Popular – Although sunglasses had already existed for more than 100 years, they were largely for medicinal purposes. But as moving picture actors and actresses started to spend greater amounts of time on the outdoor movie sets in Hollywood in the 1930s, they needed eyewear to protect from California’s frequent sun. When celebrities made their sunglasses look stylish in behind-the-scenes photoshoots, the public hastened to follow the trend.
- Polarized Lenses Were Invented in 1936 – Prior to 1936, the tinted glass of sunglasses had some effect in reducing glare from sunlight. Polarized lenses, which use a chemical layer to filter light, are far more effective at cutting down on the sun’s glare for a more comfortable pair of vintage sunglasses.
- Wayfarers May Be the Most Popular Style – Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses with their black horned frames and dark lenses are probably the most popular style of sunglasses throughout history. Vintage hornrimmed sunglasses in this style have been an iconic accessory in movies like Rebel Without a Cause, The Thomas Crown Affair, Risky Business, and several others, particularly because of the product placement advertising Ray-Ban undertook in the 80s and 90s.
- Aviators were Originally Made for Pilots – Maybe you guessed from the name, but Ray-Ban designed the first vintage aviator sunglasses in the 1930s for airplane pilots in the military. The idea was to create a more streamlined pair of sunglasses glasses that would fit snugly to the head and reduce haze and glare, replacing the bulky pilots’ goggles in the open airplane cockpits.
- Elton John Has Over 1000 Sunglasses – From the 70s onward, the legendary musician Elton John began to incorporate crazy pairs of sunglasses into his on and off-stage looks. His collection of sunglasses now reportedly contains over 1000 pairs, enough to wear a different pair of sunglasses every day for over three years.
- Sunglasses Break Frequently – A common estimate claims that one pair of sunglasses breaks in America – usually from being sat on or dropped – or gets lost once every 14 minutes on average.
- The Most Expensive Sunglasses are $400,000 – The jewelry house Choppard in Switzerland debuted these glasses in 2012. They have 51 diamonds and are covered with 24K gold, giving them an estimated value of $400,000.
- Sunglasses Continue to Become More Popular – The sale of sunglasses increases by more than 5% as more people start to wear glasses and own multiple pairs so you can always be sure of being in style when sporting your sunglasses.
Throughout history, sunglasses have evolved from being an implement for sun protection to a fashionable and essential accessory. National Sunglasses Day is the perfect day to celebrate all of the interesting details about them.
It is also a great time to be sure that you have sunglasses that match your style with a pair of vintage shades from Eyeglasses Warehouse. We sell genuine vintage frames in a range of styles from classic 1950s women’s cat eye sunglasses to unique antique wire rimmed glasses to the always fashionable horn rimmed sunglasses.
Glasses in our inventory are optical quality and can be fitted with colored lenses, polarized sunglass lenses, prescription sunglass lenses, or any other lens you need to make the perfect custom pair of vintage sunglasses for this year’s National Sunglasses Day.