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July 8, 2003

News Flash: The Patriots Wore Sunglasses! Now You Can Too!

George Washington wore them. Thomas Jefferson did, too! Colonial Williamsburg introduces Colonial Sunglasses just in time for the sunny skies of summer! Available in both blue and green tint, Colonial Sunglasses are an adaptation of the popular “tinted spectacles” advertised and sold in Williamsburg during the 18th century.

Designed for both kids and adults, the glasses retail for $9 and are for sale at and, on-site in Colonial Williamsburg, at the Marketplace, Everything Williamsburg, Tarpley’s, Outdoor Sales (Market Square) and Greenhow Store.

Spectacles or eyeglasses have been known to the western world since Marco Polo’s trip to China in the 1270’s. The colored lenses we use as sunglasses today were well-known to the Chinese and later to Europeans. They didn’t have sidepieces to fit over the ears. Instead, a ribbon looped through rings at the sides of the glasses. When tied, the ribbon held the glasses in place.

The WILLIAMSBURG® Products Program, established in 1936, provides authentic reproductions of antique furnishings and accessories as well as a line of interpretive home furnishings, both of which reflect the rich decorative arts traditions of the 18th century.

Revenue from the sale of WILLIAMSBURG® products supports the educational programs of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, a not-for-profit, tax-exempt educational organization that oversees and operates the restored 18th-century town of Williamsburg. For more information, call toll-free (800) 446-9240 or visit online at

Media Contact:
Sophie Hart
(757) 220-7272