Abstract. By today's standards, lens design and fabrication were primitive during the period from 1937 to 1950, but even today, with all the power of modern computer programs, many of the original techniques are needed. The damped least squares method has been established as the most common method for the optimization process. Several large optical design programs are available commercially. They can handle almost any problem required. They do need many added features, but these can be added to the basic shells. The lens design task today is that of starting with an appropriate understanding of the requirements, a reasonable configuration, and the judgment to be able to make wise trade-offs between conflicting conditions. It is unfortunate that with all our design and manufacturing know-how there are essentially no large production facilities available in the United States. It appears that our skills are being directed primarily to small numbers of units for military or space applications. Most business applications are being produced overseas. This situation probably cannot be changed, so we should attempt to excel in building prototypes of precision optical systems. We can do this at competitive prices but not without some consensus on a plan.