About Us

Mr Francis Lord was born in Opava in what is now the Czech Republic, very close to what was (pre 1939-45 war) the border between Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia.

After completing studies in Paris and National Service in Czechoslovakia,( where he reached the rank of an Artillery Lieutenant) he worked for an optics company in Prague, Syrb and Stys. He was working there during the period of Nazi occupation that preceded the Nazi invasion of Poland which precipitated World War II. A few weeks after the Nazi invasion of Poland Mr Lord was given authorisation by the Gestapo to travel to Bucharest to establish an optical workshop, whilst on this journey he managed to divert and obtained passage to Sydney on an Italian ship. This ship the “ESQUILINO” was the second last to reach Sydney before Italy joined the war. (All of this is quite a separate story).

When he reached Australia he was recruited by the then Director of the Mount Stromlo Observatory, Dr. R. Woolley to establish an optical industry in conjunction with that establishment and other Universities. Optics was the major bottleneck in the Allied war effort as most of the factories were in enemy territory. The USA were able to build 40,000 tonne ships at the rate of one a day but were unable to supply sufficient optics (such as bomb sights, periscopes, telescopes, binoculars, etc) to their forces.

The optics manufacturing comprises of high precision optical components, mainly for Australian Research Institutions and some small scale manufacture of components used in the repair and overhaul of optical equipment, as well as the refurbishment of optical components.

In recent years, a number of new market opportunities have been identified in optical manufacture, optical coatings and glass toughening (many for export), particularly in the areas of anti-reflection coatings and associated optical components.

This has resulted in a largely international customer base particularly research organizations in USA, Germany, Italy, France, Ireland, India and Japan.

In conjunction with the CSIRO and with Francis Lord Optics as a partner, a contract was established to manufacture the optics for the L.I.G.O project. This is an instrument designed to detect Gravity Waves as predicted by Albert Einstein. . .

Francis Lord Optics has developed significant expertise in the area of custom optics fabrication. Our technicians have unique expertise in the widest possible range of optical manufacturing techniques as evidenced by Francis Lord Optics making the optical components for the Anglo Australian Telescope’s IRIS Camera, a widely acclaimed, world unique instrument.

All the staff at Francis Lord Optics were deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Lord in October, 2010, and then by the passing of his widow, Dr Gertrude Lord (nee Angel), in February, 2011. In February 2012 the Business of Francis Lord Optics was transferred to the Former Manager, Mr Glenn Davis, who is well qualified to keep up the excellent reputation of the company in the footsteps of Mr Lord: