The History of BluBlocker Sunglasses
The origins of BluBlocker® Sunglasses started with the NASA space program. Astronauts needed strong protection for their eyes in outer space where ultraviolet rays were much stronger than on earth.
A California sunglass manufacturer designed a pair that not only blocked UV rays but blue rays as well. By blocking blue rays, objects would appear sharper and clearer since blue light did not focus on the retina which is the focusing screen of your eye.
The astronauts eye protection didn’t get much publicity until a Chicago entrepreneur, Joseph Sugarman was driving as a passenger in a car driven by the sales representative for the NASA sunglasses. The sales representative noticed Sugarman was squinting and offered him a pair of NASA sunglasses. Sugarman noticed how clear things appeared and how it stopped him from squinting.
Since Sugarman was a direct marketing expert, he immediately saw the advantages of this exciting new product but he was told that they weren’t available for sale to the public. First because they were too expensive and secondly, the company making them was going out of business. Not deterred, Sugarman set out to find a low cost way to manufacture them for sale to the mass market.
In his ad campaign he pointed out the advantages of blocking all of the UV and blue light—something that the average sunglass wearer was not aware of at the time.
Sugarman named the sunglasses BluBlocker and the product was sold in magazines throughout the US. Soon half hour TV commercials were allowed by the Federal Communications Commission and Sugarman was one of the first to offer his product on what were soon called, “Infomercials.”
BluBlockers became a big hit and the company sold over 20 million pairs throughout the world on TV, through the QVC home shopping network and at retail in Walgreens drugstores.