• Notable Dates in Ophthalmology


    Editor’s Note: In this issue of Scope, we introduce a new feature: “Notable Dates in Ophthalmology.” This feature is provided courtesy of associate editor of ophthalmic history Daniel M. Albert, MD, MPH, with the assistance of Jane Shull. Each feature in future issues will highlight seminal events in the annals of our ophthalmic heritage.

    25 years ago: 1995
    The third edition of the three-volume work “Ophthalmic Pathology: A Textbook and Atlas,” edited by William Spencer, was displayed at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in Atlanta, Ga. by the Saunders Publishing Co. This was regarded by many as the “Bible of eye pathology” over the next decade.

    50 years ago: 1970
    Drs. Marvin Quickert, Lester Jones and John Wobig describe a procedure for the treatment of ptosis by external levator aponeurosis advancement.


    Dr. Charles Schepens, MD, right, demonstrating the binocular ophthalmoscope in 1947 print issue of AAOO Transactions. Courtesy of the Academy's Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye.

    75 years ago: 1945
    Charles Schepens, MD, at Moorfields Eye Hospital designed the modern binocular indirect (headband) ophthalmoscope. The prototype model is in the Smithsonian Institute.

    100 years ago: 1920
    Jules Gonin, MD, of Lausanne, Switzerland reported to the French Ophthalmological Society his success in curing retinal detachment by localizing retinal breaks and closing them with thermocautery.


    Postage stamp of Jules Gonin, MD. Courtesy of the Academy's Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye.

    500 years ago: 1520
    Ibn Rushd, known in the western world as Averroes, reviewed Aristotle’s work on vision and rejected Aristotle’s emanation theory of sight, which stated visual perception was accomplished by beams emitted through the eyes.