“It was done.” That was how Michael Bay summed up all the work he put into the invention of what became known as the stabilised soft lens moulding technique. This technique, making viable the concept of disposable contact lenses, was to change the whole world of contact lens manufacturing and contact lens wearing for ever.
If it really was as simple and as straightforward as that, the book could end here and save us all a lot of time. It would also be to miss out on a wonderful adventure of personal determination, courage and perseverance of a small select band of men seeking their individual holy grails.
As for contact lens history, this ranges over almost 500 years and is based on past historical works, scientific papers and journal articles. The author has also had the pleasure of over 100 personal and a further 100-plus phone or email interviews with many of the people, or their families, that actually made the history spanning twenty-four countries.
The initial concept of the book was to look at the history of the disposable lens. It soon became apparent that this could not be done without looking at the soft lenses that had come before. Likewise, the impact of soft lenses only makes sense when compared to the hard lenses that had gone before, and of course before that there were the scleral lenses in both glass and plastic. Having gone this far, just who had the initial idea of placing bits of glass in the eyes to correct vision anyway?
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