Who invented contact lenses?
Though contact lenses seem to be a recent phenomenon, the famous Italian architect, mathematician and inventor Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) produced the first known sketches in 1508, that suggested the optics of the human eye could be altered by placing the cornea directly in contact with water.
In 1827, English astronomer Sir John Herschel proposed the idea of making a mould of a person's eyes. But it was more than 50 years later that someone actually produced such lenses, and there is some controversy about who did it first.
Some reports say German glassblower F.A. Muller used Herschel's ideas to create the first known glass contact lens in 1887. Other reports say Swiss physician Adolf E. Fick and Paris optician Edouard Kalt created and fitted the first glasses contact lenses to correct vision problems in 1888.
In 1948, California optician Kevin Tuohy (1919-1968) introduced the first contact lenses that resemble the modern gas permeable (GP) contact lenses of today. These all-plastic lenses were called "corneal" contact lenses because they were smaller in diameter than previous contact lenses and covered only the clear front surface of the eye (the cornea).
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