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John de Carle Obituary and Tribute

John de Carle Obituary Born 20th May 1926, Died May 27th 2022

John died peacefully in his sleep.a highly respected ophthalmic optician who pioneered the creation of soft contact lenses and brought improved vision to millions of people throughout the world.

When John de Carle started fitting contact lenses in New Bond Street, circa 1970, it was one of a small number of specialist practices quickly becoming renowned for it’s innovation, with John de Carle developing a range of lenses, including the world’s first ever extended wear soft lens and coloured fashion tints.

The practice relocated after 35 years in to New Bond Street and is now situated in Brook’s Mews, which is behind Claridges Hotel, resting in a quiet cobble stoned mews in the heart of Mayfair.

All those who have had connections with the contact lens industry will be deeply saddened by the news, a true pioneer in every sense. RIP.

The funeral is to be held on Wednesday, 27th July 2022, at 12 Noon at:

The Guildford Crematorium, New Pond Road, Godalming, Surrey GU7 3DB.

There follows a tribute from the BCLA

‘A true visionary’ – tributes paid to contact lens pioneer

Tributes have been paid to one of the great pioneers of contact lens innovation following the death of John de Carle at the age of 96.

The Mayfair-based optometrist – the first president of the BCLA – pioneered the creation of soft permanent contact lenses and brought improved vision to people throughout the world.

Having qualified as an optometrist at Northampton Polytechnical College in London in 1945 he was called up by the RAF to work in their hospitals, before moving into his own practice in Bond Street.

Always fascinated by science John came up with the idea of producing a soft permanent contact lens, complex polymers and contact lens solutions.

Luke Stevens-Burt, chief executive of the BCLA, said: “John de Carle was a true visionary whose determination to produce game-changing innovations made a life-changing difference to millions.

“His contribution to the contact lens industry was significant and all-encompassing due to his enthusiasm to improve on products and he was involved in many aspects of the business during his life.

“His involvement in the development of designs and materials dramatically affected the early pioneering days of contact lenses from his bifocal patent in the early 1960s to his most innovative success with the creation of Permalens through the 1970s and 1980s.

“He was our first President back in 1977 and his contribution was recognised by the BCLA at the Pioneers Lecture in 2006 with honorary life membership. His work has always been revered by his colleagues and the contact lens profession has lost a legend.”


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