History of Sunglasses

Posted on February 17th, 2011 by clvc

After stumbling upon a pair of my grandfather’s old wire-rimmed sunglasses with bright blue lenses, it got me thinking about how sunglasses have evolved.  The history of sunglasses can be traced back to the Roman emperor Nero, who enjoyed watching gladiator competitions while holding up polished green emerald gems to his eyes.  We all love our sunglasses for various reasons… whether you like to hide behind them like the 12th century judges of the Chinese courts, who used them to conceal their facial expressions while they questioned witnesses, or simply use them to protect your eyes against the harmful effects of ultra violet light.

Benjamin Franklin invented in the first bifocal lenses in 1780, and in the early 1900s, the use of sunglasses started to become much more widespread.  In 1929 Sam Foster introduced the first inexpensive mass-produced ultraviolet filters when he showcased his Foster Grants from a Woolworth Store on the New Jersey Boardwalk.  The first polarized lenses showed up in 1936.  Movie stars of past and present are known to hide behind their sunglasses to avoid recognition, but initially the old screen idols actually wore sunglasses to hide their red eyes from long hours of exposure to the harsh lights they had to use for filming.  

With all the amazing designer lines available today, our sunglasses have become not only important protection for our eyes, but a fashion accessory as well.




Do’s and Don’ts of caring for your prescription lenses

Posted on February 2nd, 2011 by clvc

Do wash them in cold water with a mild soap. The water should not be warmer than room temperature to help keep the protective coating on the top of the lens clean and intact.  

Do dry them with a lint free fabric that is non-abrasive to prevent scratches occurring on the surface, which happens many times during cleaning. 

Do keep your glasses in their protective case given at the time you purchase your glasses.

Do not wash your glasses in hot water since most lenses have a protective coating on top which can crack in contact with hot water and peel off or curl at the edge.  Extremely hot water can also warp the lens and make the plastic frames twist. 

Do not use any brush or abrasive soap for cleaning.  Even if you have scratch resistant lenses it doesn’t mean that you can rub any type of abrasive material on them and nothing will happen. 

Do not leave your glasses outside in the direct sun or inside a hot car in the summer.  The lenses are made of plastic not glass, so even if it’s a pair of sunglasses, the lenses or frames could warp from lengthy direct sun exposure or heat.

Take your glasses with you wherever you go; they’re only useful when you wear them.