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The History of Safety Goggles

Protective eyewear is incredibly important, but did you know that it is a relatively new invention? In 1880, P. Johnson patented an “eye protector” that used two layers of semi-opaque cloth in order to help firemen, furnace men, and other workers exposed to bright lights. This early product did not, however, offer any impact protection. That came in 1909, when the Julius King Optical Company worked with American Optical to create the first safety goggle, called SANIGLAS. In 1935, specialized “furnace goggles” were invented to help protect furnace men and steel workers, and later “melter’s goggles” were created to protect steel melters. These early safety goggles were heavy and unsightly. But when ANSI standards were changed to allow different shapes in 1979, safety goggles began to get more attractive and comfortable. Today, the main issues that safety goggle manufacturers work on are comfort and anti-fogging. Many modern safety goggles include adjustable nose pieces, foam padding for comfort, and anti-fog lens coatings to help maintain optimal visibility.

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