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 on the side panels. These are held together with metal fastenings. The rear panel is covered in a piece of white cardboard and has a small black plastic switch. The top of the box is clear Perspex. There is some hand-engraved information along the top edge which reads “14 - 5 - 80 / S/N 31/ STROKE 100 / RPM 1320”. The front side panel has a white power cord at the bottom left corner which has been cut short. The left and right plastic panels both have twelve holes near the centre. On the left side is a small clear sticker near the left corner which reads “CLS 40 / NON – STOCK / HIRSTLENS LTD”. On the right side is a large white rectangular label, positioned upside-down which reads “FluoroPerm 60 […]”. There is also a small label which reads "A37".
Inside the box are the mechanical components of the machine – these are supported by metal platforms. There is a metal wheel with a black tube belt. A hole has been cut in the Perspex above the wheel to accommodate a metal stand. It has a rectangular metal arm which extends out over a metal stand. There is small a hole in this arm which holds a vertical needle, supported by the stand. In the centre of the wheel is a vertical metal cylinder. There is a horizontal spring to the right of the object. A second hole has been cut in the Perspex which houses a white plastic cup. This holds a clear plastic chuck in its centre, with a mint green material dome. There is loose plaster dust in the cup. There is a second belt which underneath the cup.
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/Metal
Processed Material/Synthetic/Plastic
Signature/Marks and Type
14 - 5 - 80 / S/N 31/ STROKE 100 / RPM 1320 Engraved
A37 Hand-written
FluoroPerm 60 […] Printed
Accession No
Credit Line
Hirst Contact Lens Limited. 1954. Machine, Optical Polishing, 2018.1.27. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

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