|1508|| Leonardo da Vinci sketches and describes several forms of contact lenses.
||1632|| Rene Descartes of France suggests the corneal contact lens.
||1801|| Thomas Young develops Descartes' idea -- a quarter-inch-long, water-filled glass tube, the outer end containing a microscopic lens -- and uses it to correct his own vision.
||1827|| English astronomer Sir John Herschel suggests grinding a contact lens to conform exactly to the eye's surface.
||1887|| Glassblower F.E. Muller of Wiesbaden, Germany, produces the first eye covering designed to be seen through and tolerated.
||1888|| Two independent researchers, A. Eugen Fick, a Swiss physician, and Paris optician Edouard Kalt, almost simultaneously report using contact lenses to correct optical defects.
||1929|| Joseph Dallos, a Hungarian physician, perfects methods of taking molds from living eyes so that lenses can be made to conform more closely to individual sclera.
||1936|| William Feinbloom, a New York optometrist, fabricates the first American- made contact lenses and introduces the use of plastic.
||1945|| The American Optometric Association (AOA) formally recognizes the growing contact lens field by specifying contact lens fitting as an integral part of the practice of optometry.
||1950|| Dr. George Butterfield, an Oregon optometrist, designs a corneal lens, the inner surface of which follows the eye's shape instead of sitting flat.
||1960|| Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lim experiment with contact lenses made of a soft, water-absorbing plastic they developed.
||1971|| The soft lens became available for commercial distribution in the United States.
||1978|| The first toric contact lens was approved for distribution in the United States.
||1979|| The first rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lens made of co-polymers PMMA and silicone became available for commercial distribution. Many silicone- acrylate lenses are now available.
||1980|| A tinted daily wear soft lens became available for commercial distribution.
||1981|| Extended wear soft lenses became available for commercial distribution.
||1982|| Bifocal daily wear soft contact lenses became available for commercial distribution.
||1983|| The first tinted RGP lens became available for commercial distribution.
||1986|| An extended wear RGP lens became available for commercial distribution.
||1987|| Disposable soft contact lenses became available for commercial distribution; a soft contact lens to change eye color became available for commercial distribution; first multipurpose lens care product made available for commercial distribution.
A new formulation of fluorosilicone acrylate material for RGP lenses became available for commercial distribution.
|1991|| Planned replacement contact lenses now available on the market.
Daily-wear two-week replacement lenses now available on the market.
|1992|| Disposable tinted contact lenses available on the market.
||1995|| Daily disposable lenses available on the market; RGP lenses with low silicone content / high Dk fluorosilicone acrylates became available.
||1996|| First disposable lenses using ultra-violet absorber are available in the U.S.
||1998|| First multifocal disposable soft lenses available.
||1999|| New generation extended wear soft lenses introduced