CONTACT LENS HISTORY

THE UK PIONEERS

Arthur Poole (1905-1998)

Arthur Poole

 

Arthur Poole left school aged 14 and was apprenticed to Clement Talbot Motors until 1922.  He entered optics joining Hamblins in 1923 in the optical drawing department, moving to Curry & Paxton in 1929.  Having qualified as a DO at Northampton Polytechnic he joined C. Davis Keeler on 3 January 1938 with a salary of £5-10s-0d per week, fitting contact lenses on the first floor of 47 Wigmore Street.  During the war he remained in London while the Keeler works relocated to Windsor.  After the war, improved methods of obtaining ocular moulds were perfected while working with Charles Keeler.  In 1947 he moved to 39 Wigmore Street where the contact lens practice progressively expanded until it moved again in 1964 to the first floor 21-27 Marylebone Lane.  He finally retired in 1972.

 

The Keeler Magazine (no 11/4 of December 1972) records:

"The end of 1972 and the beginning of 1973 witnesses the retirement of Arthur Poole who has for so many years managed so ably the London Contact Lens Department.  Mr Poole, who did an immense amount of work for the Association of Dispensing Opticians, was a direct link with the  introduction of Contact Lens fitting into this country, since he was assistant to our Chairman, himself one of the prime pioneers the of Contact Lens fitting in England from the early 1930s."

 

Issue no. 11/5 (of February 1973) carried a letter from Poole:

"My work during the thirty-five years I have spent with the Company has been absorbingly interesting and enjoyable, and it is gratifying to reflect that one has been able to help many of one's less fortunate fellow beings to obtain a standard of vision which would have been impossible without contact lenses.  I consider I was fortunate in having the Chairman as my mentor in this branch of optics and I shall always remember with pleasure working with him during the pioneering days of contact lenses in this country."

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