Catalogue Number: 2635
Contact lens technique: a concise and comprehensive textbook for practitioners
Sub-Category: Significant book (Aitken collection)
Author: BEACHER L Lester
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1941
Edition: Second edition
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: New York, New York, USA
Publisher/Manufacturer: New York Contact Lens Research Laboratories
Description Of Item: Original dark green cloth cover, 215 x 145 mm, 125 pages, 32 black and white illustrations and diagrams, inscribed on the half title page by the author 'Best wishes to / William W Royall Jr / sincerely / L Lester Beacher 1/16/44'.
Historical Significance: This is the second edition of what was probably the first book devoted entirely to contact lenses. The first edition was published in 1941 (Held by Kett Museum, Cat No 2613) the same year as this edition. The first edition was self-published using a typewriter font with the pages stapled. This edition has been properly printed and bound but is not greatly changed. The number of pages is slightly greater but the author says in the preface to this edition that there have been only a few minor changes. The illustrations are unchanged. This book is probably the first text book on contact lenses. It might be said to have been preceded by a manual written by William Feinbloom entitled The Feinbloom Plastic Contact Lens. manual of instructions 45 pages published in 1940 but that book is more an instruction manual for a particular contact lens type than a contact lens textbook. Other early contact lens books followed quickly: Obrig's Contact Lenses in 1942, Feinbloom's The practice of fitting contact lenses in 1942 (based on articles published in J Amer Optom Assoc 1941), Anderson's Technique of fitting contact lenses in 1944, Dickinson and Hall's An introduction to the prescribing and fitting of contact lenses in 1946, Salvatori's A scientific method of fitting contact lenses in 1947, Bier's Contact lens routine and practice in 1953. Most of these books are held by the Kett Optometry Museum. Beacher (1905-1987) qualified in optometry with an OD at the Pennsylvania State College of Optometry in 1927, where he taught from 1929 to 1931. He had a ScD degree and a PhD degree as indicated by the handwritten PhD on the half title page. Beacher wrote several other optometry books and three psychology textbooks and his autobiography (1985). See Hindsight 2015; 46(2): 27-31 for more information on the little know author. This book had further editions in 1944, 1946 and 1974.
How Acquired: Purchased by Kett Optometry Museum
Date Acquired: July 2015
Condition: Very good
Location: Nathan Library. Aitken collection