American Optical History
Recollections of Former AO Employees


Download this tour brochure from 1974
2mb pdf

AO Memories - Giants and a Little History by Pat Dundas

Roger Dion working at AO in the Furnace Room in 1936
Read about this and his WWII expericnes in the book 1364 days

The AO Grand Funeral of 1924- A Goat!!!

Bob Haynes recalls the AO Fredrick Frame Plant origins and startup from Southbridge

Pdf Download - 132mb

The Frederick Plant - Photo by Bob Haynes (In Memory of Bob - April 2013)

 Interview and hire at AO along with misc. Southbridge Recollections by Joyce Bouchard

AO's Donut problem - AO News Editorial from 30-Nov 1945 

JFK's Glasses with AO Executive lenses and the letter rec'd by AO on the Day of his Assasination!
Provided by Charles Walsh 

George Wells 1912 account of early days of American Optical Frame fabrication

Stephen Haddad and his recollections and involvement with AO Monoplex Eye

Dad,  the AO Glass plant, and his demonstration to me of the properties of Prince Ruperts Drop

AO's First National Sales Meeting Held at Southbridge High School - Dec 1968
As told to Dick Whitney by Wade Cloyd

Walking home from AO during the Blizzard of 78 - Mary Trifone

Stuart Edmundson recalls his father John at AO

'Nesti' Checka recalls an amusing moment

Bob Briere recalls an AO monoplex Eye patient

AO News Cover  Story from Nov 1965- Thats me in the Window!!!

Recently discovered rare photos of the Lensdale building construction start in 1909

Dr. Bernie Grolman 2002 Interview on his Non Contact Tonometer Invention (provided by David Taylor)

AO Glasses presented to the King of Greece (1948) and the Pope (1949)

A diary entry of Azelia Edson - Aug 9th, 1867! The oldest "AO Recollection" to date

Dennis McIntyre (Slim) and the AO Baseball Team photo

AO 1915 Mechanic St rooming house Costume Party

Channing M. Wells recalls the details of two photos on June 24, 1937 and identifies the AO workers in the 1888 photo

Lens design training tools: the donut, football and the honor of having "Gay Travel bag"

Bob Innis and AO's 1960;s contribution to Medical devices of the heart

Photos from AO R&D & my 5th birthday party  (Aug 1956)

Clarifying when AO closed in Southbridge

AO Lens Plant floor layout from 1960s - Don Nass

AO Airlines - Dave Butler

AO contact helping to identify a Murder victim - Dick Whitney

The AO Police (AOP) force during WWII
written by Jim Foley before his death in May 2007

Walter Alan Stewart Family email recollections

Recalling the AO St.Louis Branch

Seaver Rice recall how the name Wellsworth got started
(appears courtesy of the Southbridge News)

Will Hicks - 50th Anniversary of the birth of Fiber Optics

Mike Leck - AO and two Norman Rockwell Paintings

Advice from Dr. Estelle Glancy and other AO Recollections - Fred Joslin

Dr. Bernie Grolman (R& D memories beginning in 1955)

In Memory of Bernie Grolman

1938 AO Case Stitching  by Pauline Mellor

A moving recollection by Caroline Stenquist Swope -
her father, an AO Employee, was killed in WWII on Xmas day 1944

Bob Lancey - Recollections on the History of Eyewear Design

Ernie Bousquet recalls some of his co-workers
during his 37 years of service

AO (1950's) View of AO Product Engineering -
Marilyn Houghton Cass

The North St. Gate - Dick Whitney

Harding Jenkins recollections

John Young recalls the inception of the AO Musuem

Gene Lewis recalls the "Ivory Tower"

Hank Langmyer Recalls AO Scientific Instruments

Herman Kreissle - From an outsider to an insider (1952- 1988) 
Or how buying an Ice Cream Cone Changed my life
(In Memory of Herm Jan 2012)

Bob Haynes recalls his early days (1945) at AO Southbridge

Don Croke and the AO Park
Employed by AOtec - Owned by AO Corp.

Paul Ferron recalls AO Visitors Dorothy Hamill and Bob Griese
Employed by Schott Fiber Optics (Formerly AO Fiber Optics)

Dorthy Hamill (L rear, with AO's  Norm Nelson and Linda Burger and kids) in AO promotional photo

AO Lens Design / 1907 Ad claim - Dick Whitney

Photos from my 5th Birthday/ AO Party  (Aug 1956)

Margo Fontaine - If Walls Could Talk
Employed by AO Lens Company

Jim Foley - Chief of Southbridge Security (1966-1982)  1970 AO Security Photo added 4/30/02

Bob McMaster (May 1983 Speech to Southbridge Historical Society)

Don Whitney's Recollections of AO as it was in the 1940's and 50's (Autobiography excerpt)

AOLITE Plastic Lens Casting Background (Don Whitney 1975 Writeup)

Noel Roscrow Recalls the Early AO / SOLA connection

AO Reunions at Rom's (July 2001 update)

AO 1982 Photo Collage of Workers at Southbridge Facility

Click here for an Excel file with names of those identified in the above photo Collage

Southbridge Flood Recollections (1938 and 1955)

AO ~1940's - Recognize anyone? Please email me if you can identify

In Memory Of Page

And the winner was...
Help me identify the women and the winner from 1948!
Printable pdf file

AO Lens Plant Freezer ~1965
Can anyone identify this women?
Feb 24, 2010 response: from Nesti Checka:
Hi dick: I believe the girl posing,is DIANE FAFARD of molded
plastics(main plant) she posed for the ao photographer, Mr.lukas.

AO Clubs

AO Quarter Century Club

The People of AO

Dick Whitney  

Return to AO History Main Page

Southbridge History Page

Whitney Home Page

Comments or Suggestions?