Highlights of AO Research Article Taken From

American Optical News

Volume 13

Feb. 7, 1952 - Dec. 24, 1952

A person’s respiratory system is a delicate mechanism. Disabling injury and disease can develop from prolonged exposure to harmful dust particles. AO Research has developed a Respirator Filter that traps dust particles as small as 24 millionths of an inch. This chemically treated filter has 40 times the efficiency of similar untreated filters, does the work of filters 8 times as large, yet permits easy breathing.

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How pure is the water in the ol’ swimmin’ hole? How safe is the milk that your child drinks? To assist public health departments in answering these questions, AO Research developed an improved dark field “Colony Counter.” It causes bacteria colonies in food or water to show white, without glare, in sharp outline against a dark background. The AO Colony Counter is a boom to public health departments since it makes bacteria counting and labeling of food and water samples easier, more positive and less tiring.

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Rx: A plastic eye with a pupil ten times the size of that of a conventional artificial eye, an over-all size three times as great, to move in coordination with the one good eye of a bull. That was the substance of a prescription by Dr. William Beard of Spencer, W. Va. The prescription was “filled” by American Optical Research Laboratories. The bull was an 11 month old Hereford show bull. One of his eyes had been ruptured by the horn of another bull.

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Recently, AO Engineers collaborated with RCA and General Precision Laboratories to perfect a system which would project a television image onto a theater screen. The system evolved consists of a mathematically corrected mirror and a giant 22” diameter corrector lens, which projects an image magnified 48 times onto a 15 foot by 20 foot screen from a distance of 60 feet. The pictures are normal and in perfect focus. The innovation, according to RCA, has resulted in many orders for theater television equipment.

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AO Research Laboratories recently developed a low-cost lens system capable of producing top-grade pictures in the inexpensive Beacon Camera. Black and white and color pictures from this camera are sharp, with no edge distortion...makes excellent enlargements. A double meniscus 70 mm lens coated on all surfaces with a focus fixed from 5’ to infinity, provides the exclusive optical system. It has brought high-grade photography within the financial reach of amateur photographers. Over a half million Beacon Cameras have been sold.

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Heat from motion picture studio and television studio floodlights affects the comfort of actors and stagehands; heat from movie projectors often causes film to burst into flame. To combat these disturbances AO scientists developed a glass that absorbs 90% of the heat from projected light and passes movie-film color in true values. As the heat absorbing glass admits visible light and transmits ultraviolet or sunburn rays, it can be used as a protective screen in sun lamps, or for solarium windows, thereby permitting a suntan in the comfort of a room.

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AO Research chemists have combined a new chemical formula with new manufacturing techniques to produce a plastic safety lens that is optically perfect, clear as crystal and exceptionally tough. Known as Plastolite, it is highly resistant to such eye hazards as splashing chemicals, welding spatter, emery wheel sparks, the impact of small, high velocity particles, and to lens fogging caused by hot and steamy working conditions. A principal advantage is that the lens is half the weight of its glass counterpart...thus insuring more comfort for workers.

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To aid in cancer research and diagnosis, AO Research developed the AO Microtome, a knife of incredible sharpness and so accurate it can slice a human cell in half. With life possibly hanging in the balance, a pathologist can rapidly analyze a small section of human cell tissue while the patient lies on the operating table. If cancer is present, he can determine immediately whether a serious surgical operation is required.

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One of the many contributions of AO Research to medicine has been the Spencer Hb-Meter, a handy pocket laboratory for hemoglobin analysis and diagnosis. Within minutes a physician can determine his patient’s blood condition right at the bedside. The heart of the Hb-Meter is a movable glass wedge, graded in color, against which blood samples are matched. When one of its color fields matches in intensity that of the blood sample, a reading is made from the scale engraved on the side of the instrument.

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A student microscope, priced within most educational budgets, has been developed by AO from suggestions of students and science instructors in American schools and colleges. Comfortable to use and two inches lower than most microscopes, it offers the maximum of convenience from the standpoint of the student and teacher. AO quality optics are employed, and built-in illumination provides a more uniform light source. All parts of the instrument may be locked in place to avoid loss or damage.

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