Sunglasses have been around for more than just about a century. From early model tennis sunglasses, designed by Arthur Andersen in 1920, to today’s more technologically advanced aviators, sunglasses have come a long way. Much of the evolution has come from the high-tech developments in eyewear design over the last few years. Sunglasses have come a long way since those first pinhole glasses, too.
Sunglasses technology has changed a lot since its humble beginnings. Over the years, designer eyewear has added endless riches to update the sunglasses category. Aviator sunglasses were initially crafted in shiny, acetate alloys, feather-light metal alloys, soft plastic, or some combination of fabrics and metals, in a myriad of colors and finishes. The main difference between an aviator and everyday sunglasses is the lens used to correct vision while flying at incredible speeds. The lens is usually round, but there are also large, rectangular, and even oval designs. They are made with various kinds of metal, including steel, chrome, magnesium, and chrome-plated metal.
Double bridge or bifocal sunglasses
Sunglasses have experienced a great deal of innovation, too. Early designs used thick double bridge or single bridge eyelets to give the appearance of larger, wide eyes. These styles were popular among naval aviators. Currently, double bridge or bifocal sunglasses use smaller single or double bridge lenses in addition to the standard wide eyelet style. In fact, many manufacturers now produce designer sunglasses that have small single and double bridge lens sets, giving an overall impression of larger, narrower faces.
Another innovation in sunglasses has been the addition of circular, square, or oval shades to the aviators. Originally, sunglasses only featured square, rectangular, or oval designs. However, since many aviators wore their sunglasses while flying fighter planes, circular shades began to be added to these pairs as well, making them even more unique and effective.
Sunglasses are also equipped with anti-reflective or LED technology, which corrects or reduces the glare that your eyes are subjected to. This technology is often referred to as “reflective lenses,” because they reflect or redirect most of the visible light that comes through your eyeglasses. In the past, anti-reflective lenses tended to have a yellow tint; today, though, there are a variety of green and yellow colored anti-reflective lenses available. These lenses help you reduce eye strain, especially when driving long distances or during any other time when your visibility is impaired.
Finally, sunglasses come with added temples for additional protection from wind, rain, or sand. Originally, these temples did not have any importance for the pilot’s health. However, after World War II, the US Air Force began using visors as part of their pilot protective gear. Over the years, temple lenses became more important to aviators. Today, temple lenses are usually required for those who fly fighter planes and are very popular among commercial pilots as well. By the end of this article, you should be able to easily understand the many ways that sunglasses can protect your eyes and keep your face youthful and free of eyestrain.