Drill, Contact Lens [Polymethyl metacrylate (PMMA)]

Hirst Contact Lens Limited, Maker

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Maker and Role
Hirst Contact Lens Limited, Maker
Production Date
Contact Lens Drill. This machine was made in the engineering workshops at Hirst Contact Lens Ltd circa 1968. It is powered by a sewing machine motor. The purpose of this machine was to drill a small aperture near the edge of a PMMA contact lens. This was then polished with a countersink polishing tool to remove any rough edges. This aperture was called a fenestration which allowed tears to flow between the anterior and posterior of the contact lens. This enabled oxygen flow to the eye, vital for eye health.
The object has a rectangular metal base, painted grey. The base has four black rubber circular feet. The white power cable with a plug is attached at the back. At the front of the base on the left is a disc-shaped magnet and on the right is a black plastic switch. Near the back on the left is a small white label which reads “AG”.
At the front of the object is a shallow cylindrical base which houses a brass cylinder. It is secured with three knobs. There is also a piece of white cardboard around the bottom. The brass cylinder has a dome on the top with a small hole in the centre. When the cylinder is removed there is a silver coloured metal rod resembling a drill bit inside and a small spring. At the back of the base is a black metal rectangular sewing machine motor. It is attached to the base by two brackets. It has a maker’s plate which reads “SEW-TRIC LTD / LONDON / SEWING MACHINE MOTOR / MADE IN ENGLAND / 200 - 250 VOLTS / 0-60 - .5 AMP. 50 WATT. / No. EM 27953 A.C. D.C.”
Other Name
Fenestration machine
Processed Material/Metal
Processed Material/Metal/Alloy/Copper Alloy/Brass
Processed Material/Synthetic/Plastic
Signature/Marks and Type
SEW-TRIC Ltd / LONDON / SEWING MACHINE MOTOR / MADE IN ENGLAND / 200-250 VOLTS / 0-60 - 5 AMP. 50 WATT / No EV 27953 A.C. D.C Maker's Plate
AG Hand-written
EM 27953 Serial Number
Accession No
Credit Line
Hirst Contact Lens Limited. 1968. Drill, Contact Lens [Polymethyl metacrylate (PMMA)], 2018.1.1. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

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