Herman Knapp, 1832-1911, is regarded as the founder of modern American ophthalmology. He became professor of ophthalmology in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1865. In 1868, he emigrated to New York City and founded the New York Ophthalmic and Aural Institute. He later became professor of ophthalmology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons from 1888 to 1903. Knapp was also the founding editor of the ARCHIVES OF OPHTHALMOLOGY.
Upon his death in 1911, the American Medical Association memorialized Knapp with the creation of the Herman Knapp Medal, presented annually by their Section on Ophthalmology. The medal was struck in 18-karat gold and designed by Tiffany & Co, New York. The obverse (Figure 1) depicts the bust of Knapp facing left surrounded by an inscription, The American Medical Association/Section of Ophthalmology. The reverse was individually engraved (Figure 2 ). The piece shown was presented to Walter Robert Parker, BS, MD, in Detroit, Mich, in June 1916.
A look at the past . . .. Arch Ophthalmol. 1999;117(11):1550. doi:10.1001/archopht.117.11.1550