Skiascopy and its practical application to the study of refraction

Catalogue Number: 52
Skiascopy and its practical application to the study of refraction
Category: Book
Sub-Category: Significant book (Aitken collection)
Author: JACKSON, Edward
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1895
Edition: 1st Edition
Time Period: 19th C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Philadelphia
Publisher/Manufacturer: The Edwards & Docker Co.
Description Of Item: The book is hardcover,original navy blue cloth, 225 x 145 mm, with 112 pages including an index. The first chapter gives the history of retinoscopy and also an account of the search for a name for the procedure. Since the test involves watching the movement of shadows the term "fantoscopie retinienne" was used by Chibret, anglicised by Priestly-Smith to the "shadow test" which was then made French again as "skiascopie". Parent suggested "retinophotoscopie" or "retinoskiascopie" but this was dismissed because the test was not to do with the retina, but the term "retinoscopy" was the one to survive.
Historical Significance: Skiascopy is a now archaic synonym for retinoscopy. Jackson (1856 - 1942) was Professor of Diseases of the Eye in the Philadelpia Polyclinic and the College for Graduates in Medicine and was a surgeon at the Wills Eye Hospital. He explained and popularised retinoscopy which had been invented by Cuignet of Lille in 1873 but without understanding its optical principles. At the time this book was written the term retinoscopy was not universally used. Jackson was president of major national ophthalmologic organisations, professor and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado. He established the first graduate course for ophthalmologists and was the principal founder of the American Board of Ophthalmology. He founded and edited the Yearbook of Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Literature. In 1918, he became editor of the third series of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, which consolidated five ophthalmic periodicals. He popularized retinoscopy in the United States and the cross cylinder technique.
How Acquired: Not known
Condition: Very good
Location: Nathan Library. Aitken collection

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