- The most expensive pair of sunglasses on eBay were:
ELVIS PRESLEY'S PERSONAL MADISON SQ. GARDEN SUNGLASSES at $250,000
- Sunglasses Constitute a $34 billion annual market at retail. [Source: Cover magazine,Febuary,2005 vol.16, no.3]
- In the United States every 14 minutes someone loses, breaks or sits on a pair of Sunglasses.
- Mens Sunglasses sell every 90 seconds on eBay. [Source:The Chatter special eBay Live 2005 edition June 23-25th 2005]
- Sunglasses were first used in China in the 12th century or possibly earlier. The "lenses" of these glasses were flat panes of smoky quartz, which offered no corrective powers but did protect the eyes from glare, and, according to some sources, evil spirits. Contemporary documents describe the use of such glasses by judges in Chinese courts to conceal their facial expressions while questioning witnesses. Compare the representation of "blind Justice" in Western art.
- It is said that the Roman emperor Nero liked to watch gladiator fights through polished gems to recreate with the color and image distortion.
- James Ayscough began experimenting with tinted lenses in spectacles in the mid-18th century. These were not "sunglasses" as such; Ayscough believed blue- or green-tinted glass could correct for specific vision impairments. Protection from the sun's rays was not a concern of his.
- In 1929, Sam Foster sold the first pair of sunglasses (Foster Grants) at the Woolworth on Atlantic City Boardwalk. He started the Foster Grant Company in 1919. Sunglasses became popular in the 1930's. [Source: www.inventors.about.com]
- Sunglasses would not become polarized, however, until 1936, when Edwin H. Land began experimenting with making lenses with his patented Polaroid filter.
- Most Popular Shades: Ray-Ban sunglasses sold 10 million units worldwide in 1998. The best-known model, the Wayfarer, has been available since 1953 and is reported to be the best-selling style in history. It was made famous by many celebrities including the fictional Blues Brothers.
- During the Blues Brothers Movie, Jake wore Ray-Ban 5022C15 Sunglasses (a.k.a. Wayfarer), with brown frames and black lenses. Genuine '5022' Ray-ban sunglasses have the '5022' written on the frames. Elwood wore Ray-Ban Wayfarer II Sunglasses, with black frames and black lenses.
- Approximately 50% of Australians wear sunglasses, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Thanks to Drew for this one!
- Trick: Are those polarized glasses really polarized? Take two pair of polarized glasses and look thru both, now rotate one glass 90 degrees. you should see an obvious blocking of light if the glasses are polarized.
- Sunglass songs:
"Cheap Sunglasses", ZZ Top, Deguello, 1979, Billboard #89
"Sunglasses At Night", Corey Hart, First Offense, 1983, Billboard #7
"The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades", Greetings From Timbuk 3, 1986, Billboard #19
- Largest personal collection:
Singer Elton John, is rumored to have a sunglass collection that is over 1,000 strong!
- Most characters from movie The Matrix Wore sunglasses. Interestingly, all of the protagonists wear rounded lenses, while the antagonists wear rectangular lenses.
- In 2004, Oakley developed Thump, sunglasses with built-in digital audio player.