Who created the first seamless bifocal, a precursor to all progressive lenses?
In 1955, Irving Rips (born November 1, 1927 - died July 30, 2007) created the first seamless bifocal. The lens Rips created was amazingly without any division lines. Based on the belief that his seamless bifocals made people look younger, Rips founded his own company called Younger Optics. Today Irving Rips' son, David, is President and CEO of Younger Optics.
Rips got started in the optical industry at a very early age by fusing glass bifocals in his uncle’s factory. “In 1954, Irving had a better idea; he wanted to design a bifocal without the line. Months of hard work in his garage yielded the world’s first seamless bifocal. Younger Optics was formed in 1955 to make the lens that set the stage for many innovations to follow. Irving continued to invent a series of new products that the industry had not seen before. Early aspherics, progressives, high index, UV lenses, and other unique plastic lens products all resulted from Irving’s extraordinary creativity and determination.”