Machine, Optical Polishing

Hirst Contact Lens Limited, Manufacturer

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Maker and Role
Hirst Contact Lens Limited, Manufacturer
Production Date
A rectangular plastic box with a brown wood grain pattern. The plastic panels are held together with metal fastenings. On the front of the box are two metal switches and a circular white plastic dial with a black rectangular base. On the black rectangular section is white text, “T. UP Pw-ON / TYPE H3M x 1 Min.” On the white dial is a scale starting from 0 and ascending in increments of 0.5mm up to 3.0mm. There is a red needle and the word “OMRON” at the bottom.
The machine has two levels. On the lower level is a removable black plastic tray with white Perspex on both ends. “179” is handwritten in pen on both sides. In the centre of the tray is an angled metal screw body which comes through from underneath. There is clear plastic around the hole. Above this is an adjustable metal arm with a needle attached to the end. This points towards the screw. Behind this is a white plastic protractor attached to the wall of the box.
On the upper level is a lamp, attached to one corner with a flexible metal stem. The lamp has a white metal shade with a diamond pattern around the edge. The bulb is missing. There is an adjustable circular metal knob on the top level which controls the screw and the needle at the same time. On the right side of the object are six holes in the plastic panel. There are 12 holes in the plastic at the back of the box. There is a power cord attached to the bottom right corner.
This polishing machine was made by Hirstlens engineers circa 1954. As polishing machines could not be purchased in New Zealand at the time, the engineers at the Hirstlens workshop designed their own using parts of obsolete gun sights from army surplus stores.
Processed Material/Synthetic/Plastic/Acrylic/Perspex
Processed Material/Synthetic/Plastic
Processed Material/Metal
Signature/Marks and Type
T. UP Pw-ON / TYPE H3M x 1 Min. Printed
OMRON Printed
179 Hand-written
Accession No
Credit Line
Hirst Contact Lens Limited. 1954. Machine, Optical Polishing, 2018.1.16. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

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