Apparently the State of New Jersey introduced legislation in 1896 to ban X-ray glasses shortly after William Rontgen discovered X-rays. Why don't they tell you these little anecdotes in science classes in school? I first heard of Rontgen and his experiments in a chemistry class when I was 14 and though fascinated by his experiments never even thought of the effect the news might have had on the wider populace of the day.
There was, of course, no evidence to suggest that such glasses existed or were likely to exist. A bit like Tony Blair, his succession of increasingly thuggish Home Secretaries and now Gordon Brown using wild exaggerations of the potential threat of terrorism to introduce draconian liberty damaging legislation. In relation to the ID cards costs it seems they've even decided to order civil servants to shred the evidence that might undermine their rhetoric.