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November 1960

The Position of History in Ophthalmology

Arch Ophthalmol. 1960;64(5):652-653. doi:10.1001/archopht.1960.01840010654004

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The accusation of complete disinterest in the history of ophthalmology can not be made against the entire profession, since undoubtedly we base our best modern achievements on those of our predecessors, the originators and inventors of many fundamental methods of examination, treatment, and surgical procedure. Chapters from the misty past come back to life again, whenever we use a von Graefe knife, or a Jaeger keratome, when we describe Schlemm's canal, or Horner's syndrome, or discuss the Young-Helmholtz theory of color vision. The roots of all things are in man, and the events in which man has taken part are called history.

Some ophthalmologists are well aware of the development and progression of their chosen specialty within the framework of medicine as a whole; yet by and large there seems to exist only a vague notion of the historical background of ophthalmology. The rich and varied chronicle on the general,

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