Pioneers map

This map, drawn by Andrew Gasson FCOptom, shows quite a confined space within western central London. It is remarkable for including the locations of so many developments in British and international contact lens history! If visiting London why not print off the map and take your own walking tour?

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Map of contact lens historical locations in London



The green circles indicate an ophthalmic optician (optometrist) or dispensing optician

The red circles indicate an ophthalmologist

 1      48 Welbeck Street: Thomas Young lived here (1820-1829)
 2      39 Wigmore Street: 2nd site of Keeler-Poole Lenses (1948-1964)
 3      47 Wigmore Street: 1st site of Keeler-Poole Lenses (1938-1948). C. Davis Keeler Ltd had been based here since 1917
 4      21-7 Marylebone Lane: 3rd site of Keeler-Poole Lenses (1964+). Arthur Poole retired from there in 1972
 5      19 Wigmore Street: Site of C. W. Dixey Ltd (1954+)
 6      114 Marylebone Lane: Base for Cyril Winter of Dixeys (1939+)
 7      16 Wigmore Street: Site of Clement Clarke Lenses, managed by Edmund Plaice (1937-1945)
 8      18 Cavendish Square: Base for Josef Dallos and R. S. ('Dick') Smellie, Theodore Hamblin Ltd (1937-1957). The green City of Westminster heritage plaque was unveiled in 2010.

window of 18 Cavendish Square Dallos heritage plaque 2010


9      9 Wigmore Street: Base for Dallos when he first came to England (1937) adjacent to the Hamblin Showroom
 10      31 New Cavendish Street: Base for Hamblin and Smellie (1927 and again after 1957)
 11      27 Harley Street: Site of F. Williamson-Noble's practice (1930s)
 12      49 Harley Street: Site of A. Rugg-Gunn's practice using Zeiss Afocal Lenses (1930s)
 13      78 Harley Street: Herman Treissman, one of the first BOA Contact Lens Examiners, worked here (1940s)
 14      80 Harley Street: Jonathan Kersley, one of the first to fit soft lenses immediately after cataract surgery, worked here (1970s-1990s)
 15      96 Harley Street: Ida Mann, Moorfields consultant and first President of the Contact Lens Society, practised here (1920s-1949)
 16      12 Wimpole Street: Frederick Ridley worked here before setting up the contact lens department at Moorfields (1940s)
 17      23 Wimpole Street: R. A. Greeves, early contact lens fitter, practised here (1930s)
 18      17 Devonshire Place: Josef Dallos worked here until he died (1964-1979)
 19      7 Devonshire Street: F. A. Burnett-Hodd, optometrist and expert in the visual performance of bifocal CLs, worked here (1960 onwards)
 20*      Siddon's Lane: Site of the workshop (100 sq ft) of G. Nissel Ltd, early manufacturer of PMMA scleral CLs (1946)
 21*      139/140 Park Lane: Keith Clifford Hall, the UK's first specialist CL practitioner (1934), worked here (1945-1964). Note the green City of Westminster heritage plaque!
 22*      High Holborn: Site of Moorfields Eye Hospital Contact Lens Department (established by F. Ridley from 1948)
       * = off map     

Prototype Contact Lens Rule by Frederick Ridley
Prototype Contact Lens Rule
by Frederick Ridley