Perry County Missouri has the rare opportunity to be within the path of totality and experience not only the Great American Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 but also the upcoming Great North American Total Solar Eclipse of 2024. Eclipses are not rare, but to be within the path of totality twice in seven years is! As part of our eclipse planning for such an event, we wanted to have something lasting for our community to look back at as a remembrance of those celestial events that passed over us.
Perry County Heritage Tourism Director, Trish Erzfeld had the idea of creating an oversized pair of eclipse glasses for her community. This structure would be a piece of metal art for one of their local parks, but it would also be functional meaning the lenses of the glasses would be outfitted with the same certified materials as are in actual eclipse glasses for solar viewing. This made them functional and educational for the community to solar view whenever the sun was out. Trish came to Main Street Signs located in Perryville, Missouri with the idea and their team of professionals worked on designing a near-perfect upscaled duplication of the most popular style of eclipse glasses typically worn.
Speed Fabrication owner, Jared Cochran was brought on board to help work with the metal structure and supports for the oversized glasses. They also worked in tandem with designing a process of sealing the specialized viewing material in the lenses of the glasses to resist moisture and condensation. The certified material of the lenses was provided by Mark Margolis, owner of Rainbow Symphony, a leading manufacturer of solar viewing glasses located in Los Angeles, California. The safety of the lenses to allow our community to enjoy solar viewing was imperative and the most important part of making these glasses interactive.
The familiar style of the glasses is the same style used by our community, so they automatically recognize them and remember the eclipse events. The fact that they are functional means they will be educational for our community for solar viewing and inspiring science. We also included a brief history of both the 2017 eclipse and plans thus far for the 2024 eclipse for interested readers along with our tourism website to help visitors find other unique and fun things to do while they are here. We hope that the glasses bring years of enjoyment, education, and entertainment to those who use them. Missouri won’t experience another total solar eclipse until 2505.