They look so modern, huh, these dark blue lenses in silver frames, and we don't imagine them sported by our great-grandparents.
I got to know about them in doing research for my upcoming historical novel, Scarlet and Magenta.
One of my female characters is a radical kind of gal and I was looking for ways in which she could annoy a conservative thinker of the time.
I hit upon blue sunglasses when I came across as outraged comment in a February 1882 issue of the Auckland Observer.
In colonial New Zealand gravel wasn't available to protect wheels and boots from getting stuck in mud around town and so they spread white sea shells over roads instead, which set up a glare in strong sunlight.
The editor ranted about how "the beauty of our maidens is marred by the wearing of atrocious blue goggles to save their eyes from the shells".
And so here they are, these ones dating from between 1860 and 1900. I'm intrigued by the loops at the end of the arms - presumably for ribbon tied on to each side to keep the glasses handy or maybe to tie them tighter around the head to fix them more firmly to the face.
My chief amusement, given how often I lose my own sunglasses, is how these blue beauties have stayed intact for well over a century.