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Our Story: Roots in dentistry magnification: vision challenges and back pain.

Our Story: Roots in dentistry magnification: vision challenges and back pain.

Ever wonder why dentists wear magnification? We had something to do with it.

Over 40 years ago, my father, Dr. Charles Caplan was a dentist here in Madison, Wisconsin. At that time, dentists sat on stools and hunched over their patients for hours at a time, leading to tremendous back and neck pain, not to mention eye strain. The physical stress of doing this day after day almost led to a premature end to his career. Searching for a solution, he developed a supportive chair and a magnification device that helped him see great detail while sitting with better posture. In turn, he was able to work more comfortably without eye, back, and neck strain.

At that time, magnification was not being used in general dentistry, but it worked so well for him that he thought others in the field might like it. So, he started selling his products to other dentists. It took many years for the idea to catch on, but it did, enough so that today, wearing magnification is standard practice for dentists around the world. Check out this classic promo from the early 1980s from a time when few were talking about magnification or ergonomics in the dental workplace:

Vintage promotion flyer, circa 1982


Artists showed interest in magnification. So we designed something just for them.

Patients of our dentist customers would frequently call, asking for “glasses and light like my dentist wears” to use for jewelry making, sewing, quilting, etc.  This interest from outside of the dental community convinced us a new audience would appreciate the same benefits from a similar product. However, products for dentistry did not fit the specific needs of  artists. After many interviews with a wide variety of creative people to determine needs, we designed new, lighter magnification device and light. In 2009, CraftOptics was founded to help creative people relieve that same physical stress dentists experienced.

Today, we are thankful to have provided thousands of talented individuals around the globe with a tool that allows them work comfortably, see better and relax as they create with great precision.

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