A Bright Sparcs Exhibition
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No optical glass, no skilled workers - how could they proceed?

Where to begin? There was a serious shortage of both personnel and materials. The OMP summarised the 'exceptional difficulties' which stood in the way of its success:

  • No supplies of optical glass were available. Optical glass was essential for the production of high-quality lenses and prisms. All previous supplies had been imported.
  • There were few optical workers in Australia with experience in manufacture of precision lenses and prisms. Such components required a level of accuracy at least ten times greater than what was acceptable for spectacle lenses.
  • There was a shortage of scientific instrument makers. Like the lenses, the mechanical parts of optical munitions had to be made to a high-degree of accuracy. This was work beyond the existing capacity of most engineering firms.
The manufacture of optical munitions was clearly outside the experience of Australian industry. So the scientists had to lead the way.

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Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 30 April 1997
Comments or corrections to: Bright Sparcs (bsparcs@asap.unimelb.edu.au)
Prepared by: Denise Sutherland and Elissa Tenkate
Updated by: Elissa Tenkate
Date modified: 19 February 1998

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