Shades of Summer

20, June 2016

Sunglasses are synonymous with summer, and we happen to have several pairs in our collections. Here's a glimpse of five pairs that show how the frames and glass tinting have evolved over time.

1. Globe-trotters

Charles Lindbergh sunglassesSunglasses carried by Charles Lindbergh on his historic 1927 flight. From the collections of the Missouri Historical Society.

These green shades made the journey with Charles Lindbergh on his historic 1927 flight from New York to Paris. Whether he wore them or not is up in the air. The information accompanying the sunglasses says Lindbergh "reportedly put them on but realized they were a danger because they'd make it too easy to fall asleep."

2. On-the-slopes option

Red-tinted ski sunglassesSki sunglasses worn by James Henry Grove, ca. 1941. From the collections of the Missouri Historical Society.

James Henry Grove wore these red-tinted ski sunglasses, which date back to around 1941, when he hit the slopes. A St. Louis native, Grove was the president of Grove Laboratories, which was sold to Bristol-Myers in 1957.

3. Doc's orders

Prescription sunglassesPrescription sunglasses, ca. 1960s. From the collections of the Missouri Historical Society.

Eye doctors know a thing or two about shading one's eyes from the summer sun. Dr. E. E. Jack, an optometrist with an office at 2522 California Avenue, prescribed this pair for someone in the Basso/Gremmelsbecher family in the 1960s.

4. Ladies' choice

Women's sunglassesWomen's sunglasses, ca. 1960–1979. From the collections of the Missouri Historical Society.

These rhinestone-decorated beauties graced the face of Martha Boyancheck Goetz. They're representative of what stylish gals liked to wear to protect their peepers in the 1960s and 1970s.

5. Army style

U.S. Army prescription sunglassesU.S. Army prescription sunglasses, ca. 2000–2008. From the collections of the Missouri Historical Society.

Major Christopher Schwartz wore these U.S. Army General Issue MS9 prescription sunglasses while serving in the war in Afghanistan. Schwartz joined the army in 1987, training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and Fort Sill in Oklahoma, and is still serving today.

—Jen Tebbe, Editor

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