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Children's Museum of Pittsburgh pulled unsafe solar eclipse glasses

Aaron Aupperlee
| Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, 3:42 p.m.
The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh pulled most of its solar eclipse glasses when they learned they weren't safe. The museum still had 50 glasses for their party Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.
The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh pulled most of its solar eclipse glasses when they learned they weren't safe. The museum still had 50 glasses for their party Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh avoided an ocular catastrophe Monday during the solar eclipse by holding back most of the glasses the museum had on hand because they weren't safe.

The museum had ordered 150 glasses from two companies ahead of its solar eclipse viewing party but, days before the event, found out that 100 of them were inadequate.

"They sent us a check that said 'Full refund' and a note that said 'Don't use them,' " said Bill Schlageter, director of marketing at the museum.

The museum pulled the 100 unsafe glasses from its supply and double-checked the remaining 50 to make sure they were safe. Schlageter said the staff was confident in the 50 remaining glasses.

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About 300 people attended the museum's solar eclipse watch party. Schlageter said the museum handed out one pair of glasses to each family and offered kids the opportunity to make pinhole viewers.

Even with a shortage of glasses, the event went well, Schlageter said. It was heartening to see people sharing the limited number of glasses, he said.

Connie George, senior director of marketing and community affairs at the Carnegie Science Center, said only glasses from an approved vendor and from NASA were used during the solar eclipse party there. The Science Center sold glasses from Rainbow Symphony, an approved manufacture, in its gift store and handed out glasses from NASA.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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