Contact Lens Pioneer, Adolf Mueller-Welt    

Contact Lens










The absence, in American societies and journals concerned with contact lenses, about the part that Adolf Mueller-Welt played in bringing and advancing the science of contact lens manufacture and fitting to America is something that borders on astounding. It is as if he never existed.  It is like talking about airplanes in their early days and completely ignoring the work of the Wright brothers. I do not have a rational explanation for this although I am certain that within the American contact lens business and professional community there are those who know and who fail to speak. All one has to do is to look at the list of optometrists and opthalmologists who bought lenses from Internationl Lens Laboratories in Detroit, beginning in 1952. Even before then, his lenses were being sold in Canada and The United States of America while he lived and manufactured the lenses in Canada. There is no excuse for the absence in Germany of recognizing Adolf Mueller-Welt as the prime pioneer who persisted from the experimental stage, through the trials of the war by helping his countrymen in whatever way he could, and up until the time of his death when his work had paved the way for the contact lens business as it is today.

Among the early famous and well known who wore his fluidless scleral and micro lenses were players of the New York Rangers hockey team. This was a break through in the wearing of contact lenses by sport figures. The Rangers were so impressed with my fathers contribution to their work that when they came to Detroit to play the Red Wings we would be special guests of the Rangers at those games. The time frame that I am referring to is approximately 1953-54.

For the practitioners, who were just learning to fit contact lenses, my father, published and sent to each of his customers a 21 page booklet that contained every possible explanation and drawing of the optical factors at work in the human eye and the lenses to be fitted to them. In 1952 he published a copyrighted supplement. Its focus was the Mueller-Welt fluidless contact lens. The information that he disclosed in these pamphlets in his effort to bring the very best vision correction to the customers and to improve the professionalism of the fitters was quickly picked up by burgeoning competitors in this dramatic change in vision correction with invisible glasses.