When Charles Davis Keeler left Philadelphia in 1906 with his wife and children to start up the Standard Optical Company in London, he could not have imagined the company he would go on to pioneer. From its foundation as a dispensing optician in London's West End in 1917, Keeler Limited has evolved out of all recognition.
Looking back over the last 100 years, it's interesting to see how many innovations the company introduced - from its first patented ophthalmoscopes in the 1930s, the first indirect ophthalmoscope in the 1950s, to today's world-leading slit lamps.
This brief timeline gives some idea of the company's evolution over the last 100 years:
- 1917 - Dispensing optician opened at 47 Wigmore Street, London
- 1926 - The first patent is registered
- 1929 - Opening of the Plymouth branch
- 1930s - First ophthalmic products launched
- 1935 - Sefton Lawn, Windsor purchased
- 1946 - Keeler starts selling worldwide
- 1952 - US operation incorporated
- 1959 - Fison indirect ophthalmoscope launched
- 1965 - Micro Ophthalmic surgical unit and Vernon Ingram ruby laser launched
- 1970s - Keeler won British Design Award for Pocket Diagnostic Set
- 1986 - Keeler acquired by Dollond and Aitchison Group
- 1987 - Pulsair non-contact tonometer launched
- 1989 - Pulsair received Queen's Award for Technical Achievement
- 1990s - The first Vantage indirect ophthalmoscope launched
- 1996 - Keeler acquired by Halma plc
- 2000s - Keeler launched an array of products, including the first wireless indirect ophthalmoscope and the PSL Classic portable slit lamp
- 2010s - Symphony range of slit lamps launched
- 2017 - Keeler turns 100!
At 100, Keeler is certainly not resting on its laurels. The company is in good health and is on a constant innovation drive, ensuring it meets the demands of optical and healthcare professionals for many years to come.
"We're actively going out, finding out about markets around the world - what do they need and what are their immediate issues? This has really deepened innovation and growth," says Abbas Sotoudeh, Keeler's Managing Director.