Recollections of AO

AO Lens Plant 2L during its construction start in 1909

Email rec'd on Nov 8. 2009:

Mr. Whitney:

 My name is John Rochon and one of my hobbies is collecting old photos.  Years ago I was given a set of photos depicting the construction of a very substantial building of re-enforced concrete.  All that was known was that construction was progressing through the fall of 1909.  I had no idea of what the building was or where it was erected, but I knew from one of the photos that it was an American project.  Also, in a few of the photos, a town could be seen in the background showing a large mill complex with a distinctive tower.  My guess was that it was located somewhere in New England.

I put these photos on my Flickr site.  One of the members looked at the photos and suggested that I contact another member, who in turn suggested a look at your history of American Optical.  I know believe that the building in course of erection in my photos is/was the "Lensdale Building" of the American Optical plant.  I thought you might like to see them, so I'm including the address of the set on my Flickr site.  I hope you find them of interest.


John Rochon.

Here are John Rochons Flicker photos, which were indeed the AO Lensdale building, still standing today.

A view ot the AO Main Plant/Clock tower in the distance on the left, at right two "three decker" houses on East Main St which still stand today

Lendsale Building history

A high tech 2007 image from

Click here for map of Campus in 1966

Photo of Construction of the AO Lens Plant in 1910
Photo Courtesy of Jacob Edwards Library

1912 view of the 2L (Building 50) soon after its construction completion in 1910

Glass Executive Manufacturing in Lens Plant (first floor) prior to Southbridge Closure
Longest running ophthalmic product line in AO's history

Southbridge AO Facilities


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