Swimming goggles were first introduced in 1911 when channel crosser Thomas Burgess swam from France to England in a pair of motorcycle goggles. However, the idea of the goggle has been reported since the 14th century where polished turtle shells were used.
The swimming goggle stemmed from the motorcycle goggle. This design shown above has remained this way since 1935.
The typical shape of goggles we know today was developed by Walter G Farrell in 1935 and was patented ‘underwater eye protector’. While the basic shape and style of the goggle has not changed, the quality and marketing of the product has improved vastly.
Goggles in Fashion
Goggles (and hat) were first used in competition in 1970 by Breaststroker David Wilkie. David’s decision was considered as odd, no one understood the need of hat and goggles in competition. By the 90’s, every swimmer was wearing a pair of goggles, they became the new normal, the new fashion. Today goggles are worn by everyone for their useful design qualities. Goggles were once unusual funny looking accessories but over the past 40 years they have become the second most used swimming accessory, the swimming cotume being the first.
Swimming goggles have many brilliant design features:
1. They allow you to see underwater
2. Streamline structure
3. Follow the shape of your face
4. Prevent your eyes getting sore from the chlorine
5. Allows you to judge where the wall is (spatial awareness)
My experience with goggles
Life of a swimmer
From the age of the 1 I learnt to swim.
From the age of 8 I started to train competively.
From the age of 13 I started to compete for County
From the age of 15 I started to compete for Nationals
Throughout all my swimming experiences I chose to wear goggles. The latest goggles by speedo are hydrodynamically designed to minimise drag while the wide vision anti-fog lenses provide excellent clarity and 180° peripheral vision. Goggles allow you to see underwater; they allow you to judge your tumbleturn to perfection; they prevent your eyes stinging from contact with the chlorine chemicals. Swimming goggles have great design as they make your swimming experience more enjoyable and more succesful.