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Arthur Kingston, Inventor of the Plastic Lens

Little is known about the personal life of Arthur Kingston.

On March 20th, 1934 Arthur William Kingston formed a partnership called the KGK Syndicate in London with Peter Maurice Kock.

In September 1934 Arthur Kingston is credited with inventing and patenting the first plastic lens, employing an injection molded polymathy methacrylate type (Perspex).

In 1936 the Rohm and Haas Company introduced the commercial availability of Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), or more commonly known as acrylic or plexiglas. Additionally, in the same year, the Dupont company introduced a similar product called Lucite. The Imperial Chemical industries PLC and the Dow Chemical company soon followed with their own products.

in 1936 Arthur Kingston founded the optical firm called Combined Optical Industries Limited (COIL). The company pioneered techniques in the precision molding of plastic optics using injection and compression molding. As more and more low-vision products were introduced, the brand name "COIL" became a recognized leader in optical products made with plastic throughout the world.


In 1937, Kock was credited for a lens made by combining sheets of Plexiglas resin that were compressed in heated iron molds. There was a law suit between the two partners over who actually invented the first plastic optical lens during their partnership. Kingston is mostly credited with the invention.

In 1937 the Purma Special camera was introduced as the first mass-produced camera to use an integrated plastic lens view finder.

The partnership between Kock and Kingston lasted only a few years and was dissolved in 1938.

In 1959 the Kodak Brownie 44A was the first camera to use a plastic lens.

Currently, the COIL company is still a strong leader for Low Vision sales globally and is owned by the Carclo Technical Plastics company.


Ref:

2002, Applied Photographic Optics: Lenses and Optical Systems by Sidney R. Ray, p. 104
2009, European Plastics News, Plastic Ophthalmic Lenses (1936)
1994 (est.) The Stories Behind the Development of Plastic Lenses by PPG Ind.


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2013-07-03 06:43:05
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