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c. 1905 -

In 1925, Charlie Alldis started his career as a spectacle maker in Melbourne. In those days spectacles were oval, and were created by being ground with carborundum powder (there were no diamond-tipped tools or diamond dust). Lens rouge was used to finish a lens; this was a particularly messy process and the lens rouge seemed to get all over everything.

Alldis undertook a six-month course conducted in the evenings at Melbourne Technical College (now RMIT) to upgrade his skills and learn how to be an optical technician in a scientific laboratory. This course, and others like it, were advertised in newspapers around the country to attract more workers to the important war work of optical munitions.

When Alldis joined the Munitions Supply Laboratories (MSL) in March 1942, he found a spotless optical laboratory/workshop without even a speck of dust! He became one of J.J. McNeill's own optical technicians, and in 1955 Alldis even followed McNeill to the CSIR/O , where he was in charge of McNeill's optical finishing shop.

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Bright SPARCS Biographical Entry

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: Joanne Evans
Date modified: 4 January 1999

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