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ESKIMO SUNWEAR (pre-history)
Sunwear actually predates eyewear. Eskimo people fashioned the earliest known sunwear from shells or wood, such as those shown above. The small slits in the eyewear only allowed a fraction of the light to come through to the wearer’s eyes to prevent snow blindness.
 
Nero Observed Gladiators Through Emerald Stone (64 AD)
  The Roman emperor Nero watched his gladiators through a piece of emerald stone. While no one knows exactly what he had in mind, it appears he was using these as a very early example of eyewear.
 
Benjamin Franklin Invents Bifocals (1784)
  Before Ben Franklin glued two pieces of glass together of differing powers - one for distance and one for reading - people had to settle either for distance vision or near vision, or have two pairs of glasses. Franklin's invention was an important precursor to the optical industry which is currently based heavily on correcting presbyopia.
 
Edwin Land Invents Polarizers (1928)
  Edwin Land developed synthetic polarizers after discovering that a pencil placed atop a plastic sheet would straighten out when the plastic was stretched. He realized that by stretching film embedded with iodine crystals, they would line up to create a polarized film.
 
First Plastic Lens Introduced (1960's)
  Up until the 1960s, all lenses were made from glass. While these lenses were optically very good, they did not match people’s changing lifestyles. Consumers wanted lenses which could be tinted to every color of the rainbow, and needed something lighter and easier to mass produce. PPG introduced CR-39® and lenses have never been the same. Eyewear changed from a medical necessity to a fashion accessory.
 
Progressive Lens First Gain Acceptance (1970's)
  Lenses had to follow in complexity of our lives. Although progressive lenses may look simple, optically and mathematically they are not. These lenses take into account our varied lifestyles of reading and distance, indoors and outdoors, and provide a versatile solution to our highly versatile lives.
 
First Plastic Photochromic Lens Introduced (1990's)
  Consumers wanted a lens which could provide good vision inside and adjust to the brighter light outside. This led to the development of photochromics which provide comfort and protection to the wearer both inside and out.
 
Polarized Rx Lens Gain Acceptance (1990's)
  In the 1990s, polarized lenses broke into the Rx portion of our market and became the norm rather than the exception in sunwear. This trend is continuing as people come to understand that unless their sunglasses block glare, they are missing the point.
 
Driving task
Learn more about what actually influences our senses during driving.
Explore Drivewear
Learn more about the behavior of the Drivewear lens and its benefits.
Genesis of Drivewear
The story of lens evolution from ancient times to the present.
 
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