Saturday, October 24, 2015
The Making of Contact Lenses in 1948
"More than 30 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses. But as this 1948 newsreel footage shows, today's common vision corrective was once a novel and strange medical device," reports Smithsonian Magazine. "The newsreel, which British Pathé recently unearthed, opens with a close-up shot of a woman without glasses. "This girl is wearing glasses," a narrator says—but of course, she's wearing contact lenses. With the cheery speed typical of mid-century newsreels, the narrator describes how the lenses were made: the eye is anesthetized, then the optician—a man named Penrhyn Thomas, who was apparently Australia's only contact lens maker—uses an "impression cup" to make a cast of the eyeball." See the video.