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)