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Safety goggles, Suva, 1929
Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt SUVA / CNA / INSAI
Safety goggles, Suva,
Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt SUVA / CNA / INSAI,

Safety goggles, Suva,
1929

Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt SUVA / CNA / INSAI
*1085
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Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • Suva Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt SUVA / CNA / INSAI
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Suva goggles protected the eyes of millions of workers in Switzerland. Thanks to their functional design and an adaptability that surpassed that of conventional sunglasses, the model with angular frames was even adopted as leisurewear.

Only with the introduction of compulsory accident insurance in 1918 by the Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt (Swiss National Accident Insurance Fund), or Suva for short, was greater attention placed on the physical protection of workers. With one in seven industrial accidents in Switzerland affecting the eyes, Suva distributed safety goggles as one of its first campaigns. In 1928, it then developed various models (made by Swiss companies) geared to user needs and had them patented. Over three million pairs of goggles based on the same design principle were sold. All models can be flexibly adapted to different face shapes and are easy to use. A clip of fine steel wire encircles the round lenses and connects them via a resilient bridge. All components—lenses, headband, and lens frames that fit close to the skin and are made out of molded fiber material (a cellulose derivative)—can be replaced individually. The 1929 model was available in a sturdy variation with an elastic strap or with eyeglass earpieces. This first model, as well as the other variants from 1932 and 1947, was worn not only as safety goggles but also as sunglasses by young men enamored of the machine aesthetic—an early example of the symbolic use of functional design. (Renate Menzi)

Schutzbrille, Suva, 1929
Entwicklung: Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Luzern, CH
Produktion: Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Luzern, CH
Material/Technik: Glas; Zellulosederivat; Textilband
6 × 14 × 3 cm (Dm 6 cm)
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK
Literatureo

Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (Hg.), 100 Jahre Schweizer Design, Zürich 2014, S. 73.

Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (Hg.), Unbekannt – Vertraut. «Anonymes» Design im Schweizer Gebrauchsgerät seit 1920, Reihe Schweizer Design-Pioniere 4, Zürich 1987.

Image creditso

Schutzbrille, Suva, 1929, Produktion: Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Luzern, CH
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Schutzbrille, Suva, Modell 1947, Produktion: Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Luzern, CH, Donation: Charles von Büren
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Schutzbrille, Suva, Modell 1947, Produktion: Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Luzern, CH, Donation: Charles von Büren
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Konstruktionszeichnung mit Einzelteilen der Suva-Schutzbrille Modell 1929
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Fotografie, Suva-Schutzbrille als Sonnenbrille, Glis, um 1950
Abbildung: FX Jaggy

Exhibition texto
Eyeglasses

For their wearer they should be as inconspicuous as possible and fit well. For everyone else, eyeglasses merge with a face to help form a person’s character. This dual function is the basis for their design: seeing or protection demands an ergonomic fit; being seen demands social distinction. A good pair of eyeglasses is able to combine both functions.