Google Doodle today honored Otto Wichterle, the Czech chemist, who invented the contact lens on his birthday anniversary. Today is his 108th birth anniversary. The doodle features a sketch of Wichterle, holding up a contact lens on his index finger. The Google Doodle also shows a ray of passing through an eye-ball and a contact lens.
Google wrote, “Happy birthday, Otto Wichterle – thanks for helping the world see eye to eye!”
Otto Wichterle was born October 27, 1913, at Prostĕjov in the Czech Republic (then, Austria-Hungary). As a lover of science from his youth, Wichterle went on to earn his doctorate in organic chemistry in 1936 from the Prague Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT). He taught as a professor at his alma mater during the 1950s while developing an absorbent and transparent gel for eye implants.
In 1961 he produced the very first soft contact lenses with a DIY apparatus. Wichterle himself wore spectacles. This was made of a child’s erector set, a bicycle light battery, a phonograph motor, and homemade glass tubing and moulds. This was the earliest version of the modern contact lenses that are now used.
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