The History of Shades

Sunglasses are both an accessory and necessity for people today. You can pick up a pair for quick convenience at your local drugstore, or spend hours selecting the right pair from an expensive retailer. If you really want to invest in eyewear, Google Glass comes with shades. However, sunglasses as we know them did not exist until the 1960s. Tinted lenses were originally used to conceal expressions in a courtroom. Later it was believed that colored lenses could be utilized as a corrective tool for vision. Finally, in 1929, Foster Grant introduced sunglasses as an accessory in Atlantic City, NJ. With World War II came the introduction of aviator sunglasses. Ray-Ban created a model of aviators that were provided to pilots during the war, at no charge. These glasses were then released to the public in 1937.

            Even still, sunglasses were not a fixture until an advertising campaign launched by Foster Grant in the 1960s. Subsequently Hollywood hotshots began wearing shades and creating more demand in the market – ahem, Top Gun. Now there are hundreds of retailers, thousands of styles, and a plethora of products from which to choose. Swell evolved, in 2012, in order to fill the space for eco-friendly, lightweight shades that provide protection from the sun with style. It is hard to believe that a century ago the concept of sunglasses had yet to be established – and look how the industry has grown since.

February 27, 2016 by Laura Saum

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