bausch.jpgHistorical Character

Name: John Jacob Bausch

Age: 91

Gender: Male

Race/Ethnicity: White, German

Profession: Rubber/Glass Workman/Eyeglass Maker/Optician Firm Head

Location: Rochester, NY

Personal Traits. Skills, Abilities and Characteristics: Inventive

Biography (ca. 1921):

Born July 1830 in Germany, Bausch was an immigrant from Germany who had started a company that sold optical items for general use, such as eyeglasses, thermometers, and magnifying glasses.Before he started his own company, Bausch worked in an optical shop in Switzerland as a lens grinder for cameras. He originally immigrated to Buffalo, but moved to Rochester and started his company there instead.

Bausch opened a retail optical shop in 1953, selling the aforementioned eyeglasses, thermometers, and magnifying glasses. This shop would later become the Bausch and Lomb Optical Company. In 1855, Henry Lomb joined the business by becoming Bausch's partner. Lomb left to serve in the Civil War, and during his absence Bausch made a discovery: the usage of vulcanite rubber to make eyeglass frames. This discovery allowed the company to produce much cheaper eyeglass frames, causing the company to later have too much demand to keep up with because the Civil War caused a blockade of gold and horn, which were the previous popular alternatives to eyeglass frames.

With the help of Henry Lomb, his company, later known as Bausch and Lomb, became a leading optician firm. The company expanded its manufacturing range and by 1903 they were producing microscopes, binoculars, and camera components. Bausch focused mainly on manufacturing and the inventing of new products, while Lomb had managed the sales up until his death in 1908.

Bausch's company went through numerous name changes, starting as The Optical Institute of Rochester (1855). It then became Bausch and Lomb, Opticians in 1864, and in 1866 the name was changed to Vulcanite Optical Instrument Company. In 1876 the name changed back to Bausch and Lomb Optical Company, and by 1908 the company had become incorporated.

John Jacob Bausch