Eye-opener: History of aviators and other sunglasses for sale in the Philippines
by EO Executive Optical | February 26, 2021 at 10:59am

Want to know the shocking truth about sunglasses for sale in the Philippines? If you own one of the luxury brands of specs, chances are you have been charmed by one Italian eyewear conglomerate called Luxottica.  Name one eyewear brand from A to V, they have it!


Sunglasses: the next big thing


The modern-day aviation sunglasses is very much rooted from the objective of resolving the perennial problem of pilots, i.e. exposure to extreme weather conditions at high altitudes.  In 1920, Shorty Schroeder took a biplane above 33,000 feet but got severely injured due to harsh weather conditions.  Years later, his friend, US Army Air Corps John Macready worked with Bausch & Lomb to create a better pair of goggles for the US Army Air and eventually surpassed Schroeder’s aviation records.

The “Anti-Glare” prototype was redesigned in 1939 by Baush & Lomb’s civilian division.  What started as a practical solution to aviation-related problems led to the introduction of the next big thing in the sunglasses industry as it continued to receive massive attention.  Its practical usage sprawled from more than just being a protective gear for aviators to being a sporting equipment that also became useful in other outdoor activities such as fishing and golfing.

In an article written at New York Times, aviators  were described as a staple gear for military men. The aviators were popularly worn by none less than General Douglas MacArthur as photographed during his arrival in Leyte in 1944.  In his book, David Frum noted about the importance of aviator sunglasses in modern-day culture, citing about mimicking military style. “Ladies” version of aviator sunglasses were released in the 1970s.

Aside from the publicity-conscious general, Hollywood celebrities also fell for the aviators.  Notable celebrities who have worn these masterpieces include Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Tom Cruise.


Aviator: Evolution of sunglasses for sale


But one would wonder how the earlier versions of the eye accessory started.  In an article published at Google Arts and Culture, Inuits (indigineous people of Alaska, Canada and Greenland) created the earliest known form of sunglasses from wood and bones of animals that are present in the area such as walrus and caribou. 

With use dating as far back as 2000 years ago, these snow goggles (nigaugek or igguag) feature a narrow slit that was said to have helped the Inuits with improved focus of sight. Gunpowder was also applied in this primitive eyewear as a way to reduce the glare.


A version of sunglasses fit for the Roman Emperor Nero, polished gemstones were used to watch gladiator fights. We could say that this is one extremely expensive way to address sun glare during the earlier times, and probably an inefficient way, too.

The fashion statement that we know today roots back from the common goal of protecting the wearer’s vision.  In the 18th century, the world saw the start of further improvement of sunglasses using the basic lens-frame structure that we see today. 

World-wide, similar versions of improvements in the product that paved the way to a multi-billion dollar industry were underway. In China, smoky quartz were used for therapeutic and ceremonial purposes, such as when magistrates wore them to project an emotion-less aura in court.

The use of light-weight but sturdy materials such as crucible steel was developed by a watchmaker in 1742. In around 1790, green-tinted lenses were used by gondoliers while working at Venice canals.  Meantime, famous actor Carlo Goldoni was instrumental in popularizing this eyewear, which according to some was the first ever instance of celebrity endorsement.

In the US, Army Air Corps began innovating their pilots’ protective eye gear in the form of what would later on be called aviators.  At the same year that the US Army Air Corps John Macready started working with Bausch & Lomb to create a better replacement for pilot goggles, inexpensive mass production of sunglasses made from celluloid was made possible via injection moulding techniques.    

In 1952, English optician James Ayscough invented spectacles characterized by a double-hinged side piece.  Known for his microscopes, Ayscough recommended the use of blue or green lenses.  More than aesthetics, the lenses’ capability to address vision impairment was looked into.

In the 1970s, according to the New York Times article, aviators have grown into becoming an accessory for everyone.  They came in various colors and designs, which made it more appealing for all sexes.


Sunglasses as a tool to alleviate discomfort


The use of sunglasses as a way to alleviate discomfort caused by certain medical conditions continues in the modern day. 

The use of sunglasses with photochromic properties as a response to modern day lifestyle, i.e. massive exposure to UV light from the sun and mobile devices, continues to make sunglasses for sale especially in the Philippines where online classes are necessitated because of an ongoing pandemic.  Moreso, the fashionable side of wearing sunglasses is highlighted nowadays.


Why do branded sunglasses cost an arm and a leg?


Half a century old eyewear manufacturer Luxottica houses over thirty globally known eyewear brands.  To name a few, your Oakley, Burberry, Ray-Ban, Coach, and Chanel specs are designed and developed by Luxottica along with thousands of other pairs of sunglasses for sale in the Philippines. 

CBS News reported in October 2012 about how Luxottica manages to be a major player in the eyewear industry, and how it is capable of dictating the prices of these global products.  Indeed, marketing plays a major role in making these specs appear as if a basic commodity in today’s generation.





  1. https://artsandculture.google.com/theme/the-evolution-of-sunglasses/AwICKXCQPV3VKg?hl=en
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ayscough#cite_note-1
  3. https://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/9-surprising-moments-in-the-history-of-sunglasses/
  4. https://www.college-optometrists.org/the-college/museum/online-exhibitions/virtual-spectacles-gallery/eighteenth-century-spectacles.html
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/magazine/who-made-those-aviator-sunglasses.html
  6. https://www.thenationalnews.com/lifestyle/luxury/tracing-the-evolution-of-aviators-from-the-skies-to-the-streets-1.666034