The existence of sunglasses is often thought to date back as far as the Roman Empire, during which time Pliny the Elder gave an account of Emperor Nero watching sporting events through tinted glasses. References continue in sources throughout history and there were several made for Civil War soldiers. Although there may have been some large production of sunglasses during the period in which this pair was made, these spectacles were probably more specifically crafted.
For Further Thinking: Sunglasses are one of myriad ways humans have adapted to challenges presented by nature. What are some other inventions we’ve created to protect us from the elements?