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From the time of the earliest anatomic studies the eye has been described as practically a sphere, an idea which is reflected in the term eyeball. When the idea of making contact lenses to fit directly on the eye arose, it was but natural, therefore, that a globular shell was assumed to be the proper form. Blown contact lenses were designed to approximate a sphere. The first sets of ground glass contact lenses were all made as sections of a sphere, the different sizes being sections of spheres with different radii.
Many eyes were fitted comfortably with these spherical contact lenses, but a great many others could not be fitted satisfactorily. It was soon discovered that, minutely considered, the average eye was far from a regular symmetric sphere and that in most instances the spherical lens sat ill on a nonspherical eye. The next stage was to consider the eye,
PASCAL JI. A RADICAL INNOVATION IN CONTACT LENSES. Arch Ophthalmol. 1947;38(3):381-382. doi:10.1001/archopht.1947.00900010390012