Some of the world’s oldest sunglasses were discovered on north Baffin Island. You may see them here

Snow Goggles

Snow Goggles Photo: © Canadian Museum of
Civilization, catalogue no.IX-C-2846, image no. S89-1832-CD94686-011.

Gatineau, Quebec / Ottawa, Ontario – We can credit the Eskimo or Inuit of the Arctic for the world’s first sunglasses. Often referred to as snow goggles, they were created from bone, leather or wood with small slits see through, designed to protect the eyes from snow-blindness caused by the bright spring sunlight. The first snow goggles are said to date back 2000 years to a culture known as Old Bering Sea, who lived around the west coast of Alaska and were the ancestors of the modern Inuit. The snow goggles came to Canada with the Inuit (Thule culture) about 800 years ago. This example, an artifact of the Thule people, from north Baffin, was crafted from walrus ivory and dates back to between 1200 AD and 1600 AD. They are now in the collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, however they are not always on display.

The Canadian Museum of Civilization is located in Gatineau, Quebec, on the banks of the Ottawa River, directly opposite Parliament Hill. The museum is within walking distance of downtown Ottawa. You can  follow museum news on Twittter at @Civilization.


120 Laurier Street, Gatineau, Quebec (Ottawa region)


27 thoughts on “Some of the world’s oldest sunglasses were discovered on north Baffin Island. You may see them here

  1. So I’m just an american (USA) kid who got in a big debate with my Social Studies’ teacher. The topic we talk about was the Inuit “Sunglasses”. I put “Sunglasses” because I believe that sunglasses doesn’t fit the category for which this invention falls into. I say that because I found the definition of sunglasses.(glasses that have tinted lenses for the glare of sunlight to be less effective) These Inuit “Sunglasses” DO NOT have any tinted lenses. So this invention is more like a hat than a pair of sunglasses. That is why I believe that the Inuit people did not invent the first pair of sunglasses and should not get the credit for the idea of sunglasses.

    1. inuit’s were the ones who created the sunglasses. It helped them to see better when it was bright out, and from getting snowblind. You need to study more. Who ever said inuit should not get credit for inventing the first sunglasses.

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