Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Keeler Optical Products

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of 39 Wigmore Street, London, W1. Telephone: Welbeck 8512

1917 American-born Charles D. Keeler, aged 41, opened his first practice at 47, Wigmore Street, London W1, supplying high-quality dispensing services and spectacles to the patients of ophthalmologists.

1926 His son, Charles Henry Keeler patented his first instrument, aged 23.

1928 C. Davis Keeler opened his first regional practice in Plymouth, Devon.

1929 He also opened other practices in the West Country and Midlands. Patents included the multi-function Decagon Master Ophthalmoscope and the Cardell Polarised Ophthalmoscope.

1933 The C. Davis Keeler company was established, with Charles H. Keeler as its first Managing Director. Keeler launched the Wide Angle Ophthalmoscope.

1935 Charles H. Keeler purchased Sefton Lawn, Clewer Hill, Windsor, as a family home. Later this became the firm's business headquarters.

1937 The founder, Charles Davis Keeler died.

1939 Keelers moved their spectacle prescription factory from the original premises in Jason Court, London to Windsor, establishing a scientific laboratory tradition at Sefton Lawn.

1946 Recovering from the disruption of the war years, Keelers moved ahead with the establishment of Keeler Optical Products Ltd, to design and produce ophthalmic instruments and sell them worldwide.

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Ophthalmic Instruments: Ophthalmoscopes, Rectinoscopes. "Vertex" Diopthrescopes, Oculist Diagnostic Sets and EENT Diagnostic Sets. Instruments can be operated from Batteries or Mains. (Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. E.1789) [1]

1953 Keeler Optical Products incorporated in Philadelphia, USA.

1955 In collaboration with Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, Charles Keeler evolved his new, rational low vision system - the first of its kind in Europe.

1957 Keeler launched the Fison Indirect Ophthalmoscope.

1967 To mark the firm's 50th anniversary, Keelers instituted a Trust, the Keeler Award for Clinical Studies, to assist ophthalmologists seeking to further their clinical experience.

1969 Charles Keeler was awarded the OBE for services to the partially sighted.

1970 Charles' eldest son, Richard Keeler, was appointed Managing Director of the Keeler Group on Charles Keeler's retirement.

1972 Charles' youngest son, David Keeler, became Executive Vice-President of Keeler Inc, USA.

1977 Charles Keeler was made an honorary life member of the Contact Lens Society.

1979 Keeler won a British Design Award for its Pocket Diagnostic Set hand instruments for doctors and students.

1986 Dollond and Aitchison Group plc, then Britain's largest optical group, purchased Keeler Holdings Ltd with Keeler Ltd functioning as its specialist, autonomous instrument division.

See Also

  • [1] Keeler Website

Sources of Information