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Innovations: SOLA plastic lenses

In the late 1950s researchers from Adelaide firm Laubman and Pank Optometric Company with the assistance of chemists at Adelaide University experimented with making spectacle lenses from a substance known as CR-39. CR-39, a new type of plastic resin, had been used in the manufacture of parts for World War II aircraft.

Laubman and Pank established a subsidiary company called Scientific Optical Laboratories of Australia (SOLA) to produce the plastic lenses if the research group was successful. When they were SOLA took up this technology to produce the first plastic lenses. Demand for the new scratch-resistant and lightweight lenses rocketed and SOLA expanded overseas. The company further developed their plastic lens manufacturing to produce bifocal and progressive focus lenses.

'Specs' can't be broken
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