Skip to main content
  • New Museum of the Eye Exhibit Explores Weird Blindness Cures From the 1800s

    San Francisco museum presents ‘Hoodwinked’, a cringe-worthy tour of quack medical devices

     — Before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was established in 1906 to protect the public from fraudulent medical products, the marketing of “quack” devices and elixirs promising quick fixes and cures for blindness ran amok. The Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye® today announced the opening of Hoodwinked: 19th Century Quack Medicine. Hoodwinked is free and open to the public beginning May 24, 2024 until Spring 2025. The Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye is the world’s only free, public museum dedicated to the science of sight.

    “We’re excited to introduce Hoodwinked to our community, a fun exhibit exploring the oddities and eye health myths of our past,” said Jenny Benjamin, director of the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye.

    Hoodwinked is not so far off from the social media-fueled world we live in now where anyone can pose as an expert on the internet,” said Gina Yu, MD, ophthalmologist and clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “While the exhibit focuses on the historical aspect of eye care, it can also serve as a reminder to the public not to believe every present-day health hack or product that seems too good to be true.” 

    The Museum offers several eye-themed soundtracks to accompany viewing of the fake sight-restoring devices, mysterious eye tonics, and untested electrical cures. Log on to the Museum’s Spotify playlist to access.

    The Museum of the Eye is located on the ground floor of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood.

    The museum is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., an hour earlier than usual during the summer season.

    For more information, see the museum’s media kit:

    About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate and support research to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit