Although we specialize in Matrix eyewear accessories as well as premium Matrix Sunglasses like Neo Sunglasses, Morpheus Sunglasses, Agent Smith Sunglasses, Seraph Sunglasses and Trinity Sunglasses, I thought I would approach this blog post a little differently than previous posts. Specifically, I want to go way back in time – to the very beginning – and discuss the history and origin of sunglasses in general.
The concept of sunglasses can be traced back more than 800 years ago. The first known mention of protective eyewear was in 12th century China, where a semi-translucent stone known as “smoky quartz” was used to craft the lenses. Back then, these smoky quartz sunglasses were used not only for eye protection, but also to conceal facial expressions in certain situations (for example, a trial judge).
Sunglasses as we know them today – Matrix eyewear or otherwise – were essentially invented in the 18th century. In the 1750’s, people began experimenting with placing tinted lenses in regular eyeglasses. Although the resulting blue and green tinted lenses offered no protection from the harmful rays of the sun, these products represent the birth of sunglasses as we know them today.
The concept really took off in the early 20th century, as sunglasses were often worn by celebrities to conceal their identity as well as to hide their perpetually red eyes caused from the movie studio lamp technology used during this era. In 1929, the first mass-produced sunglasses were launched in the US and sold on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. In 1936, the first polarized sunglasses were produced by Edwin Land, using his patented Polaroid filter.
From there, the market exploded and ultimately facilitated the creation of the Matrix Sunglasses you know and love – like Neo Sunglasses, Morpheus Sunglasses and Agent Smith Sunglasses. The celebrity angle continues to drive much of the market even to this day, and this is evident with the continued popularity of our Matrix eyewear as well as hundreds of other movie-inspired styles all across the Internet.
Of course, the Hollywood angle is not the sole driver of the market. The vast majority of the global population wears sunglasses on a regular basis to promote eye protection and comfort. There are also tons of more specialized applications as well. For example, they are worn by fishermen to reduce the glare on the water, by skiers to reduce snow glare, by people coming out of eye surgery, by people wishing to conceal their emotional / non-verbal cues, by people wishing to make a fashion statement, by blind people, by people wanting to hide an optical disfigurement, and more.
The bottom line is that after 800 years of evolution, sunglasses are an engrained part of our global society. Whether it’s the Agent Smith Sunglasses, Neo Sunglasses, Morpheus Sunglasses, Trinity Sunglasses, Seraph Sunglasses, or any other style of Matrix Sunglasses, you can rest assured that our products are way better than the smoky quartz versions from 800 years ago!!
Till next time…