Ida and the eye. A woman in British ophthalmology

Catalogue Number: 2209
Ida and the eye. A woman in British ophthalmology
Category: Book
Sub-Category: Hewett collection
Author: BUCKLEY Elizabeth I, POTTER Dorothy V
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1996
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
Publisher/Manufacturer: Parapress Ltd
Description Of Item: Paperback, illustrated cover. 322 pages, illustrated through text with black and white photographs
Historical Significance: Ida Mann DBE, CBE MBBS(Lond) DSc(Lond) MD(WA), FRCS, FRACS (1893-1983) was a distinguished English ophthalmologist who moved with her husband to Perth in 1950, when she was 57 years of age. This book was complied and edited from her autobiography. In Australia she diagnosed a trachoma epidemic amongst Indigenous people in the Kimberleys and did many field trips to examine and treat Indigenous people with trachoma. Mann became convinced that better housing and sanitation, rather than administration of antibiotics, would improve this health crisis. She was appointed as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1980 for services to Aboriginal people. The major part of her professional career was spent in England where she was recognised as a leader in the field of ophthalmology. She held a personal chair at Oxford University and was Senior Surgeon at Moorfield's Eye Hospital, London. She was a Consultant to the WHO on communicable diseases. She was on the Honorary Staff of the Royal Perth Hospital as an Ophthalmic Surgeon from 1950 and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon from 1957. Ida Mann also published 'Developmental abnormalities of the eye' 1937, 'Culture, race, climate, and eye disease; an introduction to the study of geographical ophthalmology', 1966, 'The development of the human eye' 1964, 'Ophthalmic survey of the Eastern goldfields area of WA' 1954, 'Ophthalmic survey of Papua and New Guinea' 1955 and others. Ida Mann is a sufficiently well regarded figure in the history of ophthalmology for her place of residence from 1902 and 1934 at 13 Minster Road Kilburn to have a London 'Blue sign' stating 'Dame Ida Mann (1893-1983) Ophthalmologist lived here 1902-1934'. It was installed in September 2012 and is located in the Fordwych Road frontage of the house. Australian optometrist Don Ezekiel unveiled the blue sign with Ida Mann's niece. See Museum I-photo for two photographs. The announcement of the unveiling of the plaque adds some interesting biographical material, namely 'An accomplished anatomist, she went on to produce the standard work on ocular embryology, making best use of perhaps the finest collection of embryos in any hospital at the time. She was instrumental in introducing the slit lamp to the UK in 1921 and in travelling to Budapest in 1937 to persuade Dr Josef Dallos, the pioneering contact lens practitioner, to come to Britain. She would go on to be the first president of the Contact Lens Society in 1946. She was the first woman professor of ophthalmology and the first woman professor (in any subject) at the University of Oxford. Ida Mann was one of the first ophthalmologists to pay proper respect to optometrists as professional equals, a point which the distinguished Australian optometrist Don Ezekiel made at the unveiling. The Contact Lens Society was the first inter-professional group of its type and a forerunner of the multi-disciplinary British Contact Lens Association.'
How Acquired: Ex Nathan Library
Date Acquired: June 2013
Condition: Very good.
Location: Nathan Library. Hewett collection

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