History of sunglasses goes far back in time. The first forms of primitive sunglasses were used 2,000 years ago by Eskimo hunters who had to protect their eyes from sunlight reflected off the snow.
The Eskimo hunters job was to get food and they couldn’t risk becoming snowblind. So they invented hand carved out of bone or wood narrow goggles with slits. The Inuit technology of the shades reduced the amount of glare reaching the wearer’s eyes, while still providing a wide range of vision. These types of sunglasses were worn by the Inuit, Yupik, Aleut or other groups of Alaskan native people.
Many styles of snow goggles were worn across the Alaskan and Canadian arctic. The goggles were especially designed to tightly fit against the face so that the only light entering is through the slits. Gunpowder or soot mixed with oil and rubbed on the outside cuts down the glare even more.
Around the twelfth century and before 1430, sunglasses were worn by Judges in the Courts of China. The smoky quartz, flat-glassed panes were not used as protection from the sun. They were used to conceal any expression in their eyes to keep from giving away the outcome of their decisions.
During the 1600’s people started to realize the benefits of prescription glasses as helping the elderly to see better.
In the mid 18th Century, James Ayscough developed blue and green corrective lenses which began the use of sunglasses for correcting optical impairments.
The development of glasses and sunglasses continued through the years.