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Sunglasses
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Title: Sunglasses
Identifier: 2006.1.42
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1910
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: Flat sunglasses with oval shaped lenses, no arms. Black ridged metal nose pads. Lenses are very dirty.

Sunglasses as we use them did not come into popular use until 1929 when a man by the name of Sam Foster began selling them in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Film stars of the time started the trend when they were constantly spotted wearing them. It was not until 1936 that they became polarized. In earlier times glasses tinted blue or green had been worn but not for protection from the sun. It was believed that wearing tinted glasses could correct certain vision impairments.

These glasses belonged Naomi Harris (1883-1968). Naomi was born to Arthur and Mary Harris (née Magrath), of Benares. Naomi and her older sister Annie were raised in an atmosphere of upper middle class comfort. They were educated at home by governesses, and then were sent to Miss Dupont's School for Ladies in Toronto, where they stayed with their aunts throughout the week. Naomi never married and lived at Benares her whole life. She helped to take care of her mother, and continued to live alone in the house for 14 years after Mary’s death in 1954. Naomi was a life long member of St Peter's Anglican Church in Erindale, where she was an integral part of the church's many activities. Archdeacon Banks, the former rector of St. Peter's, spoke of Miss Harris' deep attachment to St. Peter's, her love of people, her unfailing interest in the children of the Sunday School and her work with the women's auxiliary during her funeral service in May, 1968. Naomi willed Benares to her two nieces and nephew who donated the estate and most of its contents to The Ontario Heritage Foundation. Ownership was later transferred to the City of Mississauga who have operated Benares as a museum since 1995.
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Related Links:
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