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September 1974

As It Was in the BeginningAn Informal History of the New England Ophthalmological Society

Author Affiliations

From the Lucien Howe Library of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1974;92(3):250-253. doi:10.1001/archopht.1974.01010010258019

In the mid-17th century, James Ussher, Archbishop of the Church of Ireland, calculated that the heavens and the earth were created in the year 4004 BC. That the good bishop was in error by several million, perhaps billion years, was not the fault of his scholarship, that was rated among the best of his time, rather, blame must be placed on the paucity of information available to him. No such excuse can be ours in preparing this story of the creation of the New England Ophthalmological Society. The officers and secretaries of the past kept records, not voluminous ones, but accurate ones. These have been ours to use.

These records tell us that unlike the heavens and the earth, the creation of the New England Ophthalmological Society was first proposed, and then the act of creation took place. The proposers of creation, three in number, were Hasket Derby, Benjamin Joy

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