Schroeder Optical opened its doors in 1972. However, its history begins well before the company's beginning. Bill Schroeder, co-founder of Schroeder Optical, began his lifelong career in the business in 1912 in Richmond, VA with Galeski Optical. At the age of 12, Bill was taking tickets at a theater owned by the Galeski family when Mr. Galeski asked Bill if he would like to work in the family's optical business. Bill accepted the offer and began his career in wholesale optics.
Father and Son Team Found Schroeder Optical
Galeski's wholesale division became part of Bausch and Lomb in the early 1920's, and Bill moved up and down the east coast before settling in Roanoke, VA. While in Roanoke, Bill left Bausch and Lomb to be a manager at an independent lab, Blue Ridge Optical. In 1956, he left Blue Ridge to form his first lab, Professional Ophthalmic Laboratiories(POL). He and two other investors started the company, and in 1961 his son Bob came to work for him. With Bob's business sense and Bill's optical experience, the two decided to start their own business, Schroeder Optical.
The father and son team entered the venture with 71 years of experience between them and brought on other experienced opticians. Bill Schroeder worked in the business until his death in 1981. In 1991, Schroeder Optical entered not only its third decade, but its third generation of Schroeders. Tom Schroeder grew up in his father and grandfather's business and has helped with every aspect of the business. After nine years managing the company's sales and marketing efforts, Tom Schroeder became President in 2000.
Schroeder Optical Looks Toward The Future
For almost 50 years Schroeder Optical has always looked ahead by placing an emphasis on educating its staff and customers on new products and services offered throughout the industry. In 2013, Schroeder Optical invested in the latest digital surfacing technology with a Schneider surfacing line. In 2015, Schroeder Optical invested in a second digital surfacing line and upgraded the AR coating process with new equipment by adding a Leybold Boxer. In 2016, the laboratory is adding an MEI 641 TBA to its finishing department. Schroeder Optical is growing into the future with technology while strengthening our local roots and commitment to the local independent optical dispensary.