LOOKING BACK – AUGUST 2014

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STYLISH SUNS

Summer means sunglasses. And for some, like those dating to the late 1800s/early 1900s, it also means “unusual.” The item above left is a “comb” sunglass with metal temples estimated to be produced in the ’20s. Looking through the comb portion is similar in principle to Eskimo sunglasses, where viewing through a slit diminishes the amount of light reaching the eye. Not to mention the multi-tasking ability to look super fashionable while also combing one’s hair. Or, go with the two-toned version above right, which dates to 1885, and shows lenses with both clear and darkened portions. Note how the upper concave portion of each lens is painted black to serve as shades, yet still allows for viewing in the lower portion. The better to see you with, my dear? The frame is made of blue steel and has pin temples with a K-nose piece. Needless to say, both are interesting conversation pieces with-dare we say “sunny”-dispositions.

Courtesy of the Optical Heritage Museum, opticalheritagemuseum.org

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