Patriotic Shades: Exploring American-Made Sunglasses

There is a whole recovery of old American newspapers with a lot of information that seems to have used the word “sunglasses” before the arrival of Sam Foster. Who is Sam Foster? Don’t ask to know; time will tell you (and we will in the next point), but let’s focus on this prehistory of sunglasses:

1861-1865: Walter Alden, in 1866, wrote about long columns of marching soldiers, some wearing “verres de coquille,” a type of shell glasses that soldiers wore to protect themselves from the sun.

On June 24, 1891 in The Chicago Herald, there was a story about the blunder of a player, Reilly, in a baseball game after losing his “dark glasses” sunglasses before receiving a high ball.

June 13, 1895, in The Sioux City Journal, an advertisement appeared for a store called Parsons-Pelletier that offered stock from an optical store that had fallen into bankruptcy. In the advertisement, spectacles, eyeglasses such as american made sunglasses for instance, sunglasses, and pocket mirrors cost 10 cents, while in the optician, they were sold for 50 and 75 cents.

May 26, 1914, in the Pawtucket Times of Rhode Island, an advertisement recommended not going to Memorial Day without sunglasses, with different concealing and smoked formats. All this was collected in the catalog of the exhibition “Shades Down in Tokyo Town” by Neil Handley at the contemporary art gallery Calm & Punk Gallery in Tokyo.

First modern sunglasses

First modern sunglasses: Sam Foster (Foster Grant Company)

The Modern World: 1929

It would not be until 1929 when Sam Foster, founder of the Foster Grant Company, sold his first pair of sunglasses on the ocean shore in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The rapid evolution in designs and shapes meant that the invention was quickly absorbed by the film industry of that time, who saw a way to rest their eyes from the endless filming and powerful spotlights in the new element. The arcs of light were so bright that they blinded the actors as soon as the powerful spotlights were turned on. Thus, Marylin, Gloria Swanson, and other stars began to bring the contraption into the homes of other mortals, appearing on covers and in interviews with the peculiar frames, turning them into objects of desire for the women (and men) who in old Hollywood had their faithful lifestyle. We all want to be movie stars.

1936, The First Polarized Glasses Appear

Although modern sunglasses were not invented until 1929, their polarized “daughters” did not have to wait long. Not in vain, a company that is surely familiar to you, Ray Ban, started using polarized filters thanks to Edwin H. Land (yes, you guessed it, founder of Polaroid). These glasses that arrived and remained since that time are the aviator, an icon of the time, without a doubt.

Curiosities About Sunglasses

Apart from these historical milestones, we will tell you some anecdotes and curious facts related to sunglasses; for example, did you know that some glasses used by Elvis Presley sold for more than $250,000? Well, yes, some glasses The King of Rock wore in 1972 at a concert at Madison Square Garden were auctioned on eBay for that astronomical amount of money. Continuing with the world of music, did you know that it is estimated that Elton John can own more than 1,000 different sunglasses? It is speculated that this is the number of models the great British musician may have; we cannot imagine what kind of furniture he can keep so many in since that amount is much more than most open eyeglasses such as American Optical for example and optical stores display. To the public. Now, there is a lot of talk about Ray Ban Stories,