This year marks the centenary of the clinical application of the contact lens. Although previous writers had speculated as to the possibility of directly neutralizing the cornea with a variety of often-impractical optical devices,1 it was Adolf Eugen Fick (Figure) who first described the process of fabricating and fitting scleral contact lenses—first on rabbits, then on himself, and finally on a small group of volunteer patients.2
Fick's article was originally published in German in the journal Archiv für Augenheilkunde (current title: Graefes Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology) in March 1888. It was translated by Charles May,3 the noted New York ophthalmologist, and published simultaneously in the Archives because at that time these were sister journals, both of which were edited by H. Knapp and C. Schweigger.
The article is truly remarkable since Fick made a number of observations and recommendations that are still valid today; for
Efron N, Pearson RM. Centenary Celebration of Fick's Eine Contactbrille. Arch Ophthalmol. 1988;106(10):1370-1377. doi:10.1001/archopht.1988.01060140534019