Con-o-coid Trial Contact Lens Set

Catalogue Number: 1534
Con-o-coid Trial Contact Lens Set
Category: Spectacles and lenses
Sub-Category: Contact lenses and accessories
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c1970
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Australia
Publisher/Manufacturer: Hirst Contact Lens (Aust) P/L
Description Of Item: Cased trial set of rigid (PMMA) contact lenses of CON-O-COID design by Hirst Contact Lens (Aust) P/L. Lenses all -2.00 D power, 8.7mm diameter, E 1.0. Case labelled to house lenses from 7.2 to 8.2 base curve (BCOR) but only 6 of the 11 lenses are present.Case covered with cream coloured woven-textured vinyl with snap catch to close. Case: 8.4cm x 6.4cm x 2.6cm
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. Hirst taught many opticians how to fit lenses. 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. A booklet describing the development and fitting of Con-o-coid lenses is at Cat No 2066.
Condition: Good
Location: Archive room. West wall. Unit 6 Overhead display

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