James Ayscough began experimenting with tinted lenses in spectacles around 1752. Ayscough was steadfast in the belief that blue-or green-tinted glass could potentially correct specific vision impairments. Protection from the sun’s rays was not a concern at this time.
Glasses tinted with yellow-amber and brown were also a commonly-prescribed item for people with syphilis in the 19th and early 20th century because one of the symptoms of the disease was sensitivity to light.
In the early 1900s, the use of sunglasses become more widespread, especially among Hollywood movie stars.
Inexpensive mass-production of sunglasses started in 1929 when Sam Foster introduced them to America. Foster sold his sunglasses on the beaches of Atlantic City, New Jersey under the name Foster Grant from a Woolworth on the Boardwalk. These sunglasses were made to protect people’s eyes from the sun’s rays.