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Q: Accountant hats ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Accountant hats
Category: Business and Money > Accounting
Asked by: ivorclarke-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 11 Aug 2006 16:53 PDT
Expires: 10 Sep 2006 16:53 PDT
Question ID: 755162
Why do accountants wear green accountant visors?

Or at least they used to...
Subject: Re: Accountant hats
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 11 Aug 2006 17:32 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
The purpose of the green visor or eyeshade is to lessen eyestrain.
Bright, glaring overhead lighting used to be the norm in many offices.
This could cause difficulties for workers who had to focus on small
details such as columns of figures or printed text.

"Green eyeshade' or 'green eyeshades' is a term often used as an
adjective referring to activities related to accounting, auditing,
fiscal management, economics or budgeting. The term can be also
applied derogatorily to individuals who are excessively concerned with
pecuniary matters or small and insignificant details. The term refers
to visors that were worn most often from the late 1800's to the middle
1900's by accountants, telegraphers, copy editors and others engaged
in vision-intensive, detail-oriented occupations. These visors were
often though not always made of a transparent dark green or blue green
colored plastic precursor known as celluloid and were intended to
shield the eyes from eyestrain and other effects of early incandescent
lights, that tended to be harsh."

Wikipedia: Green eyeshade

"Regarding the 'Green Eyeshade': In the old days copy editors wore
green eyeshades to cut down on glare, as did accountants and

The Wit of the Staircase

"This made me remember a stereotypical picture of an accountant or an
editor: in cartoons they seem to wear those funny little green visors.
Now I understood their purpose - it's to cut down on the glare...
These days it seems that the only professionals who wear green
eyeshades are casino dealers."

Deadprogrammer's Cafe 

My Google search strategy:

Google Web Search: accountants green visor OR eyeshade

I hope this is helpful. If anything is unclear or incomplete, or if a
link doesn't work for you, please request clarification; I'll be glad
to offer further assistance before you rate my answer.

Best regards,

Request for Answer Clarification by ivorclarke-ga on 11 Aug 2006 19:13 PDT
Thanks, this is very helpful.  However I am unclear as to why the
visors are made of celluioid instead of being opaque.  And why green?

Clarification of Answer by pinkfreud-ga on 11 Aug 2006 19:22 PDT
If the visor were opaque, the work area might be too dark, and it
would be difficult for the accountant or editor to discern the small
details that are essential to the job. The translucency of the
celluloid allows the visor to serve as a filter, allowing light to
pass, while imparting a greenish cast to the work surface beneath. The
theory behind this is that green light is thought to be easy on the
eyes, and to prevent eyestrain. Most sunglasses used to be dark green
for this reason.
ivorclarke-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

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