June is National Safety Month, a month in which we need to accept our own personal responsibility for our safety, including eye-safety. Which got me to thinking about the history of Safety Eyewear. Ergo we are celebrating National Safety Month: The best resource is Optical Heritage Museum Looking at their time line:
1850-Railroad accidents were so numerious the government clamped 250 regulations on operators.
1880 -P. Johnson, an African American invented and patented an ‘Eye Protector on November 2, 1880.
1908 -Teddy Roosevelt got congressional passage of an act providing compensation to those injured in government service.
1909- New York State commission on Employers Liability found 20,000 industrial accidents had resulted in 4,000 deaths.
1909- The First Safety Goggle called SANIGLAS was developed by Julius King Optical Company in collaboration with American Optical.
1900- Motoring Goggles
1911 American Museum of Safety was founded and displayed safety guards and devices.
1911-13– 16 States passed Workmens Comp laws
1912- National Safety Council Founded
1913– America Steel Foundries prepared charts showing 110 safety goggles with one or both lenses shattered. This chart showed that in ‘2 years eye accidents had been reduced by 75%
1914– Garrett Morgan (1877-1963) an African American patented the Gas Mask, a mask which had a lens made from safety
glass. On July 25, 1916, Morgan made national news for using a gas mask he had invented to rescue several men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel beneath Lake Erie. After the rescue, Morgan’s company received requests from fire departments around the country who wished to purchase the new masks. The Morgan gas mask was later refined for use by U.S. Army during World War I. In 1921, Morgan was awarded a patent for a Safety Hood and Smoke Protector. Two years later, a refined model of his early gas mask won a gold medal at the International Exposition of Sanitation and Safety, and another gold medal from the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
1914– American Optical Co, called the industry attention to the importance of supplying prescription lenses for personal goggles of workmen with defective vision.
1915– American Optical collaborated in publishing Scientifically Correct Colored Lenses for Industry.
1917- Protective Face Mask WWI
1918– ANSI was originally formed in 1918, when five engineering societies and three government agencies founded the American Engineering Standards Committee (AESC). In 1928, the AESC became the American Standards Association (ASA). In 1966, the ASA was reorganized and became the United States of America Standards Institute (USASI). The present name was adopted in 1969. (Wikipedia)
1923- American Optical established it’s Safety Engineering Service Bureau.
1925 Eye Protection Catalogue from AO
1930– Driving Goggles
1935– Furnace Goggles
1933– Nite Glare Goggles?
1940 – First published policy on the relation of the Ophthalmic Professions to Industrial Safety and Visual Efficiency, by American Optical
These are Vintage Safety from Russia (Etsy)
1971– OSHA formed – The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 heralded a new era in the history of public efforts to protect workers from harm on the job. This Act established for the first time a nationwide, federal program to protect almost the entire work force from job-related death, injury and illness. Secretary of Labor James Hodgson, who had helped shape the law, termed it “the most significant legislative achievement” for workers in a decade.1 Hodgson’s first step was to establish within the Labor Department, effective April 28, 1971, a special agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to administer the Act. Building on the Bureau of Labor Standards as a nucleus, the new agency took on the difficult task of creating from scratch a program that would meet the legislative intent of the Act.
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