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Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

-0001

1916

  • Work on this object began.

2014

2019

  • You found it!

Snow Goggles (USA), Created before 1916

This is a Snow goggles.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from National Museum of the American Indian as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.

It is dated Created before 1916. Its medium is carved mammoth-fossil ivory.

Snow goggles, which reduce the amount of sunlight entering the eye, are the surest protection against snow blindness—an extremely debilitating condi¬tion caused by excessive ultraviolet radiation reflected off snow-covered landscapes. Conditions are especially hazardous in springtime, when the sun is brighter. This hand-carved, finely contoured ivory goggles made by the northwest Alaskan Iñupiat is one of a number of styles, all of which fit comfortably over the eyes. Some examples from the region incorporate visors, and some are made of wood, but they all feature either slits, as here, or small holes. These piercings allowed the wearers to see without squinting, but they also enhanced the user’s vision, like a pinhole camera. This was particularly useful when hunting seal or white foxes in the spring. Although occasionally referred to as “snow glasses,” they represent an improvement over goggles with glass lenses, because they never fogged up.

It is credited National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, 5/4349.

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 2.7 x 11.2 x 2 cm (1 1/16 x 4 7/16 x 13/16 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/35457333/ |title=Snow Goggles (USA), Created before 1916 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=12 December 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>