Optical Heritage Museum Web Site

Industry Present and Past Historical Resources Page
Lens Materials for Ophthalmic use

History of CR-39


Frank Stanton (standing) was the co-developer of allyl diglycol carbonate (CR-39 Monomer). He is seen here

discussing the optical properties of CR-39 monomer with several PPG marketing Execs. Muskat and Strains o

riginal patent application was dated October 15, 1940.


For a complete history of CR-39, download this 17mb file

(Courtesy of PPG Industries)


1945 photo of PPG's Barberton, Ohio Plant;

railroad car filled with 38,00 pounds of CR-39 monomer

Photos above from

1998 20/20 Magazine Article title "The Science of Lens Making

(pdf download)


The most successful plastic material

in the history of spectacle lenses

“The Success of CR39” :1975 Article in Optical Management (pdf file download)

“The Armorlite Story’: 1975 Robert Graham Article (pdf file download)

CR-39 – A look back 60 years later (2006 pdf file download )

AO’s CR-39 history writeup (1994)

Feb 1976 Listing below

DonWhitney 1958 Talk on AOLITECR39.htm



CR39 is used in surgical tubing.

Other applications once investigated:

Fishing lures


Prosthetic Leg


Lens Materials- History of CR39


Lens type/design history


Optical Industry Vintage Advertising


Lens Companies

Lens Equipment


Safety Eyewear



Standards / Organizations


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