Throwing Light On Sunglasses07 Jul, 2016
DODOcase's mission is to keep the art of craftsmanship alive using processes and materials that have been around for hundreds of years and applying them to today's modern technology. For our newest LeatherCraft item, the Porter Eyewear Case, we thought we'd shine some light on the history of sunglasses, since they weren't exactly born yesterday!
Back in the 12th century, sunglasses were some of the most cutting-edge technology coming out of China. The original material used for lenses was smoky quartz. There was no UV ray protection to them, but they did provide glare protection for the eyes. They were mostly used in courtrooms by Chinese judges - not for the purpose of the tough-guy look, but to hide their emotions and give an unbiased aesthetic, hoping to keep their true feelings shielded behind the shades.
The next upgrade to sunglasses wasn't until 1752, when James Ayscough created sunglasses with blue and green tinted lenses. He believed that including color to glasses could correct some vision impairments. No one at the time was concerned with sun protection for their eyes.
Later, in the 19th century, people diagnosed with the sexually transmitted disease syphilis were prescribed sunglasses that were tinted brown or amber. This created a stigma for sunglasses as an association with sexual promiscuity. During this same time, however, idolized silent movie stars were photographed wearing sunglasses, which evolved out of necessity and vanity. The arc lights used in early film productions were so bright that starlets were often left with not-so-glamourous red, watery eyes. Camera flashbulbs were also filled with magnesium, so actors started turning to sunglasses to protect their eyes. These explanations were not conveyed to doting fans who saw movies stars wearing sunglasses from the red carpet to the beach, as photographed in their favorite magazines. The end result: sunglasses came to be seen as a fashionable commodity instead of the medical corrective eyewear tool of the time.
To recognize the complex history of sunglasses and honor the inventors and artists before us, the craftsmen at DODOcase have created the Porter Eyewear Case to protect your historical technology with ease and beauty. Made with premium leather and a minimal design, the Porter will last the test of time.