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Ophthalmology is primarily a visual discipline. Occasionally one listens to the bruit of a carotid-cavernous sinus fistula or palpates the protruberant eye of a patient with Graves' disease but most often one simply looks. These days, when looking is often done through instruments that cost more than a mediumsized automobile, it is refreshing to recall that the first ophthalmoscope, described by Helmholtz in 1850, consisted of three glass plates and some cardboard. The first fundus atlas appeared a scant two years later, written by Van Trigt as a doctoral thesis. Since then, atlases of the ocular fundus have appeared at about yearly intervals. These were, up to about 1920, prints of meticulously hand-drawn observations. At this time retinal cameras were developed and in 1921 the first photographic atlas appeared. The quality of these atlases has improved as retinal cameras became more refined and this brings us to this most recent
Shoch D. Manual and Color Atlas of the Ocular Fundus. JAMA. 1970;212(9):1528. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170220082028
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