After long months of staying put, many of us are venturing out for vacations that are well past overdue. Of course there’s all that R&R we need, but why not work in a little education while we’re at it? According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) there are more than 35,000 museums in the U.S. And according to Wikipedia, there are more than 150 types of museums including hair museums, cemetery museums and a selfie museum. But if those don’t spark your interest, this one might—The Contact Lens Museum.

Located in Forest Grove, Ore., and “Established in 2019 to preserve, protect and educate eye care practitioners, researchers, historians and the public about these wonderful optical devices and objects, The Contact Lens Museum has more than 2,000 historical items documenting the history of this field over the past 100+ years.” Patrick J. Caroline, FAAO, Jiah Pack and Craig Norman, FCLSA, who are all collectors of contact lens artifacts, instruments and publications founded the museum. Displays include glass scleral lenses and instrumentation from the early 1900s, the last existing apparatus (still working!) to make glass contact lenses and much more to indulge your optical curiosity. The museum also brings traveling exhibits to major industry meetings.

If Oregon isn’t on your travel list, however, the website offers a wealth of information through photos, podcasts and vintage videos. A video from 1954, “One-Day Scleral Lens Fitting,” takes you through the process with a patient, where that term is more than an identity—it’s a virtue, and some of the equipment looks like it came from an original “Twilight Zone” set. Still, you’ll come away with an appreciation for the craftmanship it took to fit and produce those early scleral lenses. The podcasts are interviews with individuals who can provide living history recollections about prominent individuals in the contact lens field. You can browse photos of the museum’s collections of lenses and instruments. Create your own virtual tour. What’s more, the museum plans to offer free quarterly CE events. You can sign up for notices for online events and send questions to the team.

This summer, take a trip down contact lens memory lane at, or visit in person if you can, and skip the selfie museum. If you want to look into the future of contact lenses, check out our CE, “Therapeutic Contact Lenses and Beyond” at

Linda Conlin
Pro to Pro Managing Editor
[email protected]