Carl Zeiss Scleral Contact Lens Trial Set

Catalogue Number: 2872
Carl Zeiss Scleral Contact Lens Trial Set
Category: Spectacles and lenses
Sub-Category: Contact lenses and accessories
Corporation: Carl Zeiss
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c 1930
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Jena, Germany
Publisher/Manufacturer: Carl Zeiss, Jena
Description Of Item: Polished wooden box, 287 x 142 x 32 mm, imprinted on the bottom right hand corner with Carl Zeiss Jena Made in Germany. The hinged lid is secured by a spring loaded chrome sliding catch. The box contains 9 x 3 white plastic wells fitted into a machined grey ceramic base engraved with the words Carl Zeiss Jena Made in Germany in gold lettering. Specifications of some of the lenses are hand-written beside the wells, but not all lenses match the specifications. Twenty-three of the wells contain glass scleral trial lenses most of which are engraved with specifications of corneal optic radius and scleral optic radius. Some are afocal others have dioptric powers ranging from ? 0.25 to +21.25 and -24.25. One well contains a damaged lens. The base has three parallel sided wells with rounded ends one of which contains a red rubber contact lens remover. Two chromed retractable handles are fitted to the edges of the stone base.
Historical Significance: This trial lens set almost certainly belonged to Ernst Goetz (1903-1979) who was born in Switzerland and studied optometry in Jena, Germany, obtaining his Masters certificate in optometry and his diplom-optiker in 1924. He emigrated to Australia in 1924 to join his girlfriend and became a sales representative for Zeiss in Melbourne and joined Alfred Nott as an optometrist in 1926. He practised in Collins Street and subsequently purchased the practice in 1940. He was probably the first Australian optometrist to fit contact lenses and also the first to prescribe telescopic low vision aids. He had learned about both during his studies in Jena, the town in which Carl Zeiss was located. Zeiss pioneered both contact lens manufacture and low vision aids. Trial sets of 39 afocal lenses were produced in 1930. This set may be a variation of those sets. Not all the lenses in the set are original. See Ernst Goetz's profile by Gartner WF Ernst Goetz 1903-1979 Clin Exp. See also product description pamphlet Kett No. 868
How Acquired: Donated by Colin Dundon, antique ophthalmic collector, Williamstown
Date Acquired: 16/5/2016
Condition: Good
Location: Archive room. West wall. Unit 5 Drawer 2

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