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July 1972

A History of the Ophthalmoscope.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1972;88(1):122. doi:10.1001/archopht.1972.01000030124034

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The story of the development and evolution of the ophthalmoscope as told by C. Wilbur Rucker, Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, is an interesting and well-researched narrative. Quite wisely the author intentionally ignored many of the by-ways of the story that are fascinating but lead nowhere. His purpose was to provide a knowledge of the past so that today's practitioners may appreciate their own ophthalmoscopes. In this he has succeeded admirably.

The text is composed of eight main areas of information. The second area, "Illumination of the Interior of Eye Before Helmholtz," is particularly rich, for here the story is traced from Pliny the Elder to Charles Babbage with appropriate credit being given to Prevost, Purkinjé, Cumming, and Brücke. Valuable quotations and translations, some not easy to come by, are provided on a generous scale. The same consideration and generosity marks the third section,

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