Translucent Corneal Contact Lens Mailer Case and Lens

Catalogue Number: 3861
Translucent Corneal Contact Lens Mailer Case and Lens
Category: Spectacles and lenses
Sub-Category: Contact lenses and accessories
Corporation: Hirst Contact Lens Ltd
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1960s
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Auckland, New Zealand
Publisher/Manufacturer: Hirst Contact Lens Ltd
Description Of Item: Translucent plastic contact lens mailing case 55 mm x 30 mm x 5 mm of two wells the top of each embossed 'HIRST CONTACT LENS LTD' one bears L the other R. On the underside two round white labels are adhered one with McKenzie 7.85 base hand-written in pencil an F encircled in blue, the other USSHER 20 hand-written in black and crossed in pencil. The well marked L contains a grey tinted PMMA corneal lens overall diameter 10 mm power -4.00 D. Temporary storage Box A
Historical Significance: Eugene (Gene) Hirst OBE (1911-1989) emigrated from Czechoslovakia in 1939 to Auckland, New Zealand, as it was the farthest he could get from Czechoslovakia. He was originally a dental technician and made his first contact lenses for a keratoconic patient by taking an impression of the eye using dental material and moulding a lens over a stone cast. There were no lathes available at the time so the optics were fashioned by hand using small brass laps. In partnership with optometrist Douglas Mortimer he started the Hirst Contact lenses Ltd Company in 1943 and also an optometric practice called Mortimer and Hirst. In 1967 Hirst began making soft lenses, adding aspherics and front surface torics with prism ballast and truncation. In 1970 the company expanded with a branch in Adelaide, Australia, which also specialised in aspheric lenses. The Australian company was sold a few years later to Hydron USA with a licence to manufacture Con-o-Coid lenses and in 1976 Hirst Contact Lenses Ltd was sold to New Zealand Optical Ltd and renamed Hirstlens NZ Ltd.
How Acquired: Donated by Ian Bailey
Date Acquired: 14/10/2019
Condition: Good
Location: Archive Room. East wall Unit 5 Cupboard

Search the archive:

Author or Inventor:
Catalogue #
Name of Donor