Catalogue Number: 616
Diseases of the eye. A manual for students and practitioners
Sub-Category: Significant book (Aitken collection)
Author: PARSONS John Herbert
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1907
Edition: 1st Edition
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: London
Publisher/Manufacturer: J and A Churchill
Description Of Item: Original red cloth cover, 664 pages, plus 16 pages of book advertisements. 308 figures in text. 14 colour plates including a plate illustrating the colours of the Holmgren Wool Test. Thirty one chapters and 3 appendices including an appendix on the vision requirements for admission to the Army, Navy, the Government of India, Public Works Department etc. The front fly leaf has a handwritten note '1950 A,I ed R.L.'
Historical Significance: This is the first edition of a text book that was used by ophthalmologists and optometrists for nearly 70 years. This edition gives an excellent idea of best practice in ophthalmology at the beginning of the 20th C from an author well credentialled scientifically and clinically. See cat Nos 89, 227, 301 for later editions of this book, and 226, 302 and 303 for other books by Parsons. This was the standard text for Melbourne optometry students in the 1950s. It was first published as 'Diseases of the eye a manual for students and practitioners' in 1907, became 'Diseases of the Eye' and went to a 10th edition in 1942 when authorship went to Duke Elder and later SJH Miller. It continued for many years as 'Parsons' Diseases of the Eye' to the 15th edition in 1970 John Parsons FRS DSc MBBS FRCS (1868-1957) was a prominent British ophthalmologist with a special interest in pathology. He published a 4 vol 'Pathology of the Eye' in 1904-8. He had an interest in colour blindness and published 'Introduction to colour vision' in 1915. See Duke Elder S. John Parsons. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 1958; 4: 204-214. The front fly leaf has handwritten note '1950 A.I ed R.L' which indicates, according to the donor, that the book was given to Alan Isaacs by Russell Langley, who was his cousin. Russell Langley was a dermatologist whose father owned and operated Langley Optical Company, an optical wholesaler in Melbourne in the mid 20thC. Russell Langley taught diseases of the skin and medical statistics to optometry students in Melbourne from the 1950s to 1970s.
How Acquired: Donated by Alan Isaacs, honorary life member
Date Acquired: March 2008
Condition: Very good
Location: Nathan Library. Aitken collection