The Contact Lens Museum—a brick-and-mortar museum that will also have some traveling exhibits—is now open to the public. It was established this year to preserve historical contact lens objects and memorabilia—and to educate eyecare practitioners, researchers, historians, and the public about these wonderful optical devices and objects. The museum has more than 2,000 historical items documenting the history of the contact lens category over the past 100+ years.
Located in Forest Grove, OR, the museum welcomes visitors and has free general admission.
The museum is the brainchild of Patrick J. Caroline, FAAO; Jiah Pack; and Craig Norman, FCLSA—each a longtime collector of contact lens artifacts, instruments, and publications.
The new museum features a chronological selection of the evolution of contact lenses from early glass and plastic scleral lenses, the discovery of corneal designs, original soft lenses from Czechoslovakia, and gas permeable designs through the recent rebirth of scleral lenses.
“We’re really excited to share these treasures with all who have an interest,” says Caroline. “We were fortunate to have the dream of the museum kickstarted by the donation of items from the personal collection of Dr. Don Ezekiel from Perth, Australia and the Dr. Newton K. Wesley Foundation, which we feature at the facility.”
He also noted that in 2020 the museum will travel to at least four major contact lens meetings and education institutions. “We understand that not everyone can travel to Oregon to visit us, so our plan is to take the museum on the road. Our website at TheContactLensMuseum.org will showcase these treasures, as well.”
The Contact Lens Museum is located at 2309 Pacific Ave, Forest Grove, OR. It is open from 10 am. – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday by appointment only.