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From the Archives of the Archives
November 2007

A look at the past . . .

Arch Ophthalmol. 2007;125(11):1571. doi:10.1001/archopht.125.11.1571

In view of the great wealth of this century andthe strong appeal made by blindness, it is remarkable how little hasbeen donated to ophthalmic hospitals and for ophthalmic research.The Wilmer Institute, opened in 1924, and the Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology,organized in 1931, were the first institutions in America especiallyendowed for ophthalmic research, and their endowments are still relativelyinadequate. Now that government is preventing the accumulation ofgreat private wealth, it may take over the financing of many institutionsformerly largely dependent on private donations. That this is a desirableconsummation is questionable.

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