- A cup of material being placed onto a woman’s eyeball to create the shape
- It is then peeled out from under her eyelid and pressed with a plastic sheet
- Created by Australia’s only contact lens maker in 1948 – Penhryn Thomas
- Were aimed at the wealthy and cost close to £47 – AU$2,800 today
Brianne Tolj For Daily Mail Australia
00:18 EST, 27 December 2015
01:24 EST, 27 December 2015
Deciding to ditch your glasses and get contact lenses in 1948 was definitely not for the squeamish.
A cringeworthy video shows original footage of Australia’s only contact lens maker Penhryn Thomas placing a small cup of white goo into a woman’s eyeball to take a mould and then peel it out from under her eyelid.
The experimental procedure was gaining popularity at the time and contact lenses were being worn by film stars, jockeys and athletes and were aimed at the wealthy, costing £47 – Australia’s currency at the time.
Today that would be close to AU$2,800, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia.
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Footage from 1948 shows Australia’s only contact lens maker Penhryn Thomas making a pair on contact lenses for a woman (pictured)
The cringeworthy video shows him place a white material onto the woman’s anaesthetized eye (pictured)
After two minutes the mould is peeled out from under her lid and used as the basis for the contacts
The woman’s eye is anaesthetized before the white material is places over her eyeball and held for two minutes before it has hardened.
Mr Thomas then slides the semicircle mould from the eyeball and places a small sheet of plastic over it before compressing them together to shape the plastic to the eye.
He then removes the excess plastic and grinds the inside of the lens before testing to make sure they are the right prescription.
A small sheet of plastic is placed over the eye mould (pictured)
The plastic is compressed to fit the mould (pictured)
The excess plastic is then removed to form the semicircle contact (pictured)
The thick plastic lenses are then buffed and inserted into the woman’s eye using a solution to help them adjust.
Both lenses were placed in a small case with a wand that helped people manoeuvre them into the eye.
Unlike the soft contact lenses seen today that people can wear overnight, the original lenses could only be worn for six to eight hours at a time before becoming uncomfortable.
The inside of the lens is delicately ground first (pictured)
Penhryn Thomas (pictured) then checks the lenses to make sure they are the right prescription
They receive one final buffing before being ready for the owner
In the past 60 years, lenses have come a long way and are now made of materials that can be absorbed by water and crafted with the help of a computer.
There are two processes to making contacts now – lathe cutting and injection moulding.
Lathe cutting involved spinning the soft lens material and shaping them with a computer-controlled cutting tool.
Both lenses were placed in a small case (pictured left) with a wand that helped people manoeuvre them into the eye (pictured right)
They are inserted into the woman’s eye using a solution to help them adjust (pictured)
Unlike lenses today, they could only be worn for six to eight hours at a time before becoming irritating
It is more time consuming and expensive than injection moulding.
Most disposable contact lenses are made with injection moulding, which heats the material into a molten state before being injected into a computer designed mould.
They are quickly cooled and placed in a solution to soften them.
The thick lenses were quickly gaining popularity at the time and cost £45 – around $2,800 today