Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fashionable History: Sunglasses

Roman Emperors uses emeralds to watch gladiator fights. In 12th Century China smoky quartz was used to hide the eyes and facial expressions of judges in Chinese courts. But it wasn't until the early 19oo's that fashionable sunglasses as we know them became more common place.
This was epecially true among silent film stars that constantly had red eyes due to the powerful lighting needed for the extremely slow film stock used to make those films. If the stars do it so does the rest of the world so even when the harsh lighting used in films was improved with ultra-violet filters the sunglasses remained. And they've been cool ever since.

In 1929 mass produced sunglasses were produced and sold in America by Sam Foster. He sold the shades on the boardwalks of Atlantic City under the name Foster Grant from a Woolworth's. We now can't live without them at the beach!

Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly made wearing sunglasses in the 50's a classic accessory. Not just for sun protection but now a style necessity.


Crystalyn Kae said...

I never knew that sunglasses came from a necessity of the lights in silent films. . .they're so ubiquitous 'hollywood' now! I have been shopping for some timeless (prescription) sunglasses for a while and this post was just the inspiration I needed!

Retro Chick said...

Well, that's a bit of education for me today as well!


JANN said...

Glad they got the sunglasses to become fashionable. Cool images too.

Kelsey Sunshine. said...

Seriously brilliant!


Bibby's Rocket said...

awesome! i think i have a pair of those early ones (not yet listed) -- incredible how well they hold up--both style-wise and every other wise!
thanks for this :) -- db

Unknown said...

Stay tuned!! More to come about Foster Grant!!