IN SEPTEMBER of this year the International Congress of Ophthalmology will hold its 17th meeting in Montreal and New York. It was 97 years ago—Sept. 13-16, 1857—that this body met for the first time in Brussels, Belgium. This city was then the home of the first exclusively ophthalmological journal ever published, Annales d'oculistique. It seems somehow fitting that the editors of the first journal of ophthalmology should have been the originators and organizers of the first International Ophthalmological Congress and that Brussels should have been the meeting place. It is generally agreed that this meeting was the first international medical congress of any sort.
The January, 1857, issue of the Annales carried the first public announcement of the proposed Congress. To supplement the appeal, the journal's editors, in conjunction with the Belgian diplomatic corps, circularized doctors throughout the western world. In the United States the Belgian chargé d'affairés extended the
SNYDER C. FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF OPHTHALMOLOGY AND CONTEMPORARY STATE OF OPHTHALMOLOGY IN AMERICA. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1954;52(2):264-271. doi:10.1001/archopht.1954.00920050266009