Catalogue Number: 1844
Eyeball-tension: its effect on the sight and its treatment
Sub-Category: Significant book (Aitken collection)
Author: WATSON W Spencer
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1879
Time Period: 19th C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: London
Publisher/Manufacturer: H K Lewis
Description Of Item: Original claret coloured cloth covers, 70 pages plus 4 pages book advertisements, illustrated. Inscribed 'with the authors compliments, kind regards' on half title page. Rubber stamp for H Vernon Cargill on title page.
Historical Significance: This is an early text specifically on the ocular disease of glaucoma. The term glaucoma derives from the Greek word meaning greenish or bluish used to describe blindness of old age associated with a greenish or bluish appearance of the pupil without knowledge of its patho-physiology. It had been described in Greek works and by Arabian oculists. Its first association with raised intra-ocular pressure was identified by William McKenzie in 1830 and its association with optic atrophy followed the invention of the ophthalmoscope in the 1850s. The Schiotz tonometer was not invented until 1907. Spencer Watson MB London FRCS (1836-1906) was a prominent London ophthalmologist who wrote several books on eye disease and diseases of the nose. His obituary is published in the Journal of Laryngology, rhinology and otology December 1906. In this book he expresses his preference for the name 'Eyeball-tension' to the term 'Glaucoma' believing the latter term, being less explanatory, would fall into disuse.
How Acquired: Purchased by Kett Museum (Abe Books $60)
Date Acquired: July 2011
Condition: Very good
Location: Nathan Library. Aitken collection