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In 1880 Black inventor Powell Johnson patented “eye protectors.” Johnson designed the eyewear for various professions, including furnacemen, ironworkers, firefighters, and other workers exposed to glare and bright lights. The eye protectors had two frames with cloth disks inserted to shield the eyes from bright light. This type of design was the first of its kind. Johnson’s design improved upon previous inventions and helped pave the way for modern protective eyewear.
Little is known about Johnson’s life. He is credited with developing the first known functional safety-related eyewear.
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