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.