The History of Sunglasses

It may shock you to learn that sunglasses weren’t always used to protect people’s eyes from the sun.

The history of sunglasses dates back to ancient China and Rome.

It has been reported that the Roman emperor Nero enjoyed watching gladiator fights through polished gems.

In China, sunglasses were used in the twelfth century or even earlier. Sunglasses were first made out of lenses that were flat panes of smoky quartz.

These types of sunglasses could not correct vision, or protect from harmful UV rays, but did reduce glare.

Chinese judges used the smoky quartz glasses to hide their facial expressions when they interrogated witnesses.

Sunglasses did not undergo further changes until about the eighteenth century because of the work of James Ayscough.