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Contact Lenses Timeline

1508: Leonard da Vinci first has the idea of placing a corrective lens directly onto the surface of the eye and draws sketches of his idea.

1636: Rene Descartes writes Dioptric, in which he explains his theories on light and vision and proposes the idea of a corneal contact lens.

1685: Philippe de la Hire creates drawings that illustrate how a concave lens placed on an eye could send light into the retina.

1801: Working from Descartes' idea, Thomas Young creates a corneal contact lens to correct his own vision.

1887: Adolf Eugen Fick, a German physiologist, creates the first successful contact lens

1887: F.E. Muller, a German glassblower, creates the first glass contact lens.

1940s: Corneal contact lenses are sold commercially for the first time.

1961: Czech chemist Otto Wichterle invents soft contact lenses.

1971: Bausch & Lomb introduces the first commercial soft contact lens.

1981: After FDA approval, the first contact lenses suitable for extended and overnight wear are sold.

1991: Frequent-replacement soft lenses are sold for the first time.

1992: The first colored disposable soft lenses are created.

1995: One-day disposable lenses are sold for the first time.

1996: Disposable lenses featuring UV filters are introduced in the U.S.

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