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March 1, 1902


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(9):561-562. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480090013001d

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The influence of Helmholtz upon otology is almost incalculable, although signalized by no instrument like the ophthalmoscope with its epoch-making application and its huge clinical field. Reflectors of various kinds to illuminate the aural, nasal and pharyngeal cavities had been somewhat used before his day and received but moderate impulse directly through his ophthalmoscope, for it was really the perforated concave mirror of Hoffmann and Ruete which became the aurist's illuminator; but they did lead to marked gain in diagnosis and treatment through rivalry with the ophthalmic progress which he had inaugurated. His advance lay principally in his contribution to the underlying science of acoustics. This he found in almost the rudimentary and empyrical phase known to Pythagoras; and just as his disproof of spontaneous generation made a beginning of minute biological study, and his physical corollary of the conservation of energy became the basis of all modern material science,

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