Times Roman near vision reading card

Catalogue Number: 3159
Times Roman near vision reading card
Category: Equipment
Sub-Category: Reading card, tests of near vision
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1960s
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Description Of Item: Glazed white card (discoloured), 125 x 200 mm, printed on one side with text in Times Roman font in six font sizes from N5 to M18. The reverse has the name of the previous owner 'IAN BAILEY' in biro and a doodle also in biro.
Historical Significance: This near vision card was in very common use in Australian optometry in the middle of the 20th century. It uses the then new standard for the format for testing vision at near. This new format was devised by the English ophthalmologist Frank William Law MA MD BChir FRCS (1899-1987) and adopted by the Faculty of Ophthalmologists in 1952 (see Law FW Brit J Opthal 1951; 35: 765). It replaced the Jaeger system (in which type size as designated with the notation J1 etc). Eduard Jager von Jaxtthal (1818 - 1884) was an Austrian ophthalmologist and professor at the University of Vienna. He first published a set of reading samples to measure functional near vision in 1854. He published samples in German, French, English (and other languages). He used fonts that were available in the State Printing House in Vienna in 1854 and labelled them with the numbers from that printing house catalogue. However his system became corrupted by variation in fonts and letter and line spacing, which provoked the development of the new Times Roman system.
How Acquired: Donated by Ian Bailey
Date Acquired: October 2016
Condition: Fair. Card is discoloured
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 7

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