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September 1986

On the Anomalies of Accommodation and Refraction of the Eye

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(9):1281. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050210035014

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Donders' (1818-1889) seminal work easily stands as one of the most pivotal books in the history of ophthalmology. Donders, a Dutch ophthalmologist, chaired the Department of Ophthalmology at Utrecht and was truly one of Holland's most illustrious scientists. Although he had many diverse interests and activities, he will remain immortal for this work, which was published in 1864 and stands as one of the masterpieces in the history of ophthalmology. Until this time, the fitting of eyeglasses was the prerogative of untrained and mostly itinerant vendors, who combined this occupation with other business affairs unique to the profession of peddlers.

In this book, Donders explains for the first time the meaning of ametropia. Not only does he present a lucid classification of hypermetropia, myopia, and astigmatism, but he describes clearly the clinical aspects of refractive errors. He is also the first to separate clearly errors of refraction from those of

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