Optical fabrication and testing: a historical review

Daniel Malacara

Optical fabrication and testing techniques are more than two thousand years old. It was discovered in 1927 that as far back as 1600 B.C., crystal magnifier lenses were made in Crete. Spectacles were invented around the year 1260. The next great advance came when the Dutch microscopist Anthony von Leewenhoek in 1719 made his own small magnifying lenses to examine microscopic objects. He discovered microorganisms with his small lenses. The manufacturing details until this time are not well known, and probably no attempt was made to test the quality of the surfaces.

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