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An Open Letter to New York State’s Opticians on the Founding of the Society 80 Years Ago Today

Friday, May 20, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Victoria Tutino
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May 20, 2016
An Open Letter to New York State’s Opticians 
on the Founding of the Society 80 Years Ago Today 


80 Years of Advocacy & Vigilance

To New York State Opticians:

On May 20, 1936, Philip L. Salvatori and a dozen Dispensing Opticians met in the offices of Norton & Schneider at 37 Maiden Lane in New York City to create the Society of Dispensing Opticians.  The mission of this new Society was to guard the interest and welfare of both Dispensing Opticians and of the public’s vision.

One of the main reasons the Society came into being was a bill had been introduced in the State Senate that would only allow physicians and optometrists to furnish or dispense lenses, eye glasses or spectacles.  This was a call to arms by Salvatori and the founding members—as to why New York State’s Opticians needed to be organized and to have a single force representing their interests in Albany!

The new Society went to work. Within 10 days of its founding, the first newsletter, The Dispenser, was published. The founders reached out to Opticians across the state to help spread the word and to fight that bill.  By the end of 1936, the Society had established Chapters in Buffalo, Rochester and Albany; membership has grown from 13 to 120; a Legislation Fund was established; and the bill only allowing MDs and ODs the right to dispense lenses and eye glasses was defeated! The Society also began the long march to become a Licensed Profession!  It took 10 years to win that battle—the Society’s Licensure Bill became law on April 15, 1946.  

And on this important milestone day, NYSSO carries on the legacy of its founders, continuing to forward its legislative agenda, continuously monitoring bills in the Legislature, and defeating efforts to attack the scope of practice of New York State Opticians. NYSSO is the only organization that pays a lobbyist with direct access to our state lawmakers and government offices in Albany.  Go to for a full update on our Government Affairs efforts and to learn all that is going on over the last few months and how NYSSO is ever vigilant for you!

On behalf of the Society’s Board of Directors, I ask all New York State Licensed Opticians to use this historical year to re-commit to the mission and work of NYSSO.  We need your help to ensure that future Opticians will have this incredible profession and NYSSO as a resource and defender of their license for another 80 years and beyond!

Happy 80th Anniversary NYSSO!  Congratulations to our dedicated Members & Supporters!



Lisa L. Dolezel



You can read the Society’s first newsletter from May 1936,

 and learn so much about those early days,
by going to: The Dispenser - May, 1936

Contact NYSSO

Phone: (518) 387-9619



P.O. Box 3523

Schenectady, NY 12303

An Open Letter to Opticians

NYSSO writes to all Opticians in New York State to help our fight against unlicensed Opticians.
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