OSA Rochester Section

The Rochester Section of the Optical Society of America is a group of people in the optics industry interested in promoting the knowledge of optics for the local community.

A History of Optics at Bausch and Lomb


Talk by Ian Cox, PhD and George Grobe, PhD

                                                        Ian Cox                                  George Grobe        



Bausch + Lomb has been a Rochester fixture since it was founded in 1853, and it has always been regarded as an integral part of the optics community.  This connection was clearly visible in the first century of the company’s existence, with the development of spectacles, microscopes, telescopes, camera lenses, and other military and civilian optical instrumentation as well as the manufacture of optical glass.  However in the late 1960’s through to 2000 the company started a swing away from optics with the development of soft contact lenses, the acquisition of pharmaceutical and other health related businesses and the divestiture of medical instruments and the RayBan sunglass division.  In 1999 the purchase of the companies that were to form the B+L Surgical Division signaled the return of Bausch + Lomb to physiological optics and although the path was often tortuous, this led to B+L once again being recognized as a company who not only respected their optics heritage, but rejuvenated the skillset within the company and made optics a key feature of all their new surgical and contact lens products.  In this lecture we will describe the historical link between optics and Bausch + Lomb from the very beginning of the company, presenting previously unseen archive material from the company vault, how the course of the company changed direction during the mid 60’s to late 1990’s and then describe the development of the products that brought the Bausch + Lomb name to once again be synonymous with physiological optics.


Enjoy this talk on October 28th at 7:00 PM. 
Click Here for event details.


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Educational Activities

The Rochester Section is active in the support of optics education in area schools. The Rochester Section developed its Optics Suitcase in 1999. The Optics Suitcase is an innovative, interactive presentation package designed to introduce middle school students to many of the concepts of optics as well as other sciences.

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Upcoming events

October 28, 2014 7:00 PM • UR/LLE East Lobby

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