Green eyeshades are a type of visor that were worn most often from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century by accountants, telegraphers, copy editors and others engaged in vision-intensive, detail-oriented occupations to lessen eye strain due to early incandescent lights and candles, which tended to be harsh (the classic banker's lamp had a green shade for similar reasons). Because they were often worn by people involved in accounting, auditing, economics, and budgeting, they became associated with these activities.
Green eyeshades were often made of a transparent dark green or blue-green colored celluloid, although leather and paper were used to make the visor portion as well. One manufacturer, the Featherweight Eyeshade Company, described their eyeshade as "healthful, color peculiarly restful to the eyes". Green eyeshades are still on the market, typically sold as "dealer's visors". They retain some popularity in the gambling community.
Several individuals, including William Mahony, received patents for their eyeshade designs.
In popular culture
The phrase "green eye-shades" can be used as a synecdoche for individuals who are excessively concerned with financial matters or small and insignificant details.
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- "Strange Visors Getting Their Moment in the Sun". The Cut. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
- New England Stationer and Printer. 1901.
- Supply, Casino. "Search Results". Casino Supply. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
- US patent 000729500, W. F. Mahony, "Eye shade", issued May 26, 1903
- Society of Professional Journalists. "Green Eyeshade Awards - Excellence in Journalism". Green Eyeshade Awards. Retrieved 2021-09-11.