The golden age of ophthalmology was inaugurated by Helmholtz' invention of the ophthalmoscope and the publication in Berlin, in 1851, of his immortal "Beschreibung eines Augen-Spiegels," which was "the description of an optical instrument by which it is possible in the living to see and recognize exactly the retina itself and the image of luminous objects which are cast upon it."
It had been the desire of all students of the eye and of those who treated its diseases some day to see the interior of the living organ, but this accomplishment was regarded as impossible, because it was supposed that light shining into the eye was completely absorbed by the choroidal pigment and that none could be returned to the observer. The usefulness of the ophthalmoscope depends, however, on the principle that on illuminating the eye by a beam of light and examining it in the same direction
CHANCE B. SHORT STUDIES ON THE HISTORY OF OPHTHALMOLOGY: I. THE COMING OF THE OPHTHALMOSCOPE INTO ENGLAND. Arch Ophthalmol. 1935;13(3):348–361. doi:10.1001/archopht.1935.00840030038002
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