Sometimes, cocaine and a muscle-hook were involved.
A blogger for Scientific America writes –- eventually -- about gender-differences in eyecare but the lengthy intro to her piece shares some fascinating nuggets from the distant history of the contact lens. August Müller was a 25-year-old medical student when he fashioned his first lenses in 1889, she writes, dabbing his eyes with a bit of cocaine to make insertion more comfortable. German ophthalmologist Adolph Eugene Fick got the title, “father of the contact lens” with his invention a year earlier. Fick’s lenses were made of heavy brown glass from the bottom of test tubes, and required a muscle-hook to insert.