The state's professional optometry association was founded as the Michigan Optical Society in Muskegon in 1896. Benson W. Hardy, Jay W. Gould, Ernst Elmer, Nelson K. Standart, Emil H. Arnold were its first directors. In 1904 the group was incorporated as the Michigan Society of Optometrists. It became the Michigan Optometric Association in 1945. The group moved its headquarters to Detroit in 1944 and to Lansing in 1956. Ninety years after its founding, the association included 670 practitioners of optometry.