Sunglasses, also known as shades, were not initially invented or used to protect our eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays or blue light as they are used today. The Chinese were the ones who invented them some time before the 1940s and initially used them to hide people’s facial expressions. They were most often worn by Chinese judges who really had no choice but to wear them while they were in the court room. The sunglasses used for this purpose were made of smoky quartz so that people in the court room during a trial would not have the opportunity to see what the judge was thinking and change their ideas because of it. It was also very important for the people to not see how the judge would react to the evidence presented until trial was over.
During this same period, corrective lenses were starting to be introduced into China from Italy as well. These were then tinted to create a pair of tinted corrective lenses. After being tinted these lenses would again be used by Chinese judges but not only would their reaction be hidden they would also be able to see much better. This tinting of corrective lenses would continue to be developed and experimented with well into the eighteenth century. James Ayscough was one of the first to experiment with the shading of the lenses for medical purposes. He had the belief that by using different colors of shading in corrective lenses he would be able to alleviate or cure some of the vision impairments. These lenses were a lot like the ones that we have today but they were always blue or green and did not do anything to prevent a person from being exposed to ultraviolet rays. This is because it was not a concern at this point and time and nobody realized the sun was doing their eyes harm.
The sunglasses that we are familiar with began to take shape early in the twentieth century when the military made the first pair. These were the first shades that were made in order to protect the eyes of pilots from the glare they would be seeing at the high altitudes they flew at. It was still unknown at this time that ultraviolet rays were harmful to the health of a person’s eyes but these shades would have effectively blocked out some of those rays. The drooping shape seen on some shades was created to allow pilots to glance down with just their eyes and easily see their control panel instead of having to shift their head every time.
Shades were not invented to protect an individual’s eyes and to keep their eyes as healthy as can be. Most of the time, they are not even used for this purpose today because many people just wear their shades because they like how they look on them or with the outfit they are wearing. It is important to wear sunglasses whenever you are outside in the sun in order to keep your eyes healthy.
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Article Added on Monday, May 7, 2012