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July 16, 1932


JAMA. 1932;99(3):187-192. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740550001001

The growth of ophthalmology in recent centuries has been vast. Its progress has been remarkable for rapid acceleration. The accumulated mass of ophthalmologic literature has attained huge proportions. It is interesting to pause and survey the paths by which we have arrived at the present state of the science to which this section is dedicated. Such a survey may help to appreciate better what has been accomplished, and what are the factors to which we are indebted for aid in our advance. It will also indicate how such progress has been achieved.

The history of ophthalmology, the history of medicine and the history of the physical sciences go back to a common childhood. In their development they have often been united or closely related, and they have generally been subjected to the same influences. Their development presents interesting analogies.

The ancient Greeks assembled much knowledge concerning the physical world. They