Museum of Vision

Dedicated to preserving ophthalmic history

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Sectional Navigation

  1. Selections from the Sherman Collection
  2. History of Ophthalmology in the Asia Pacific
  3. Their Eyes to the Sky
  4. Great Insights and Great Thinkers in Ophthalmology
  5. Beyond Ophthalmology, Beyond the Clinic
  6. Extreme Vision: Science Fiction or Truth
  7. Contagion! Epidemics in Ophthalmic History
  8. The Eyes of War
  9. Spectacular Spectacles
  10. To Fool the Eye
  11. Windows to the Soul
  12. Picturing The Eye: Ophthalmic Film and Photography
  13. Collecting Ophthalmology: 30 Years at the Museum

Sight Restorers

Ideal Sight Restorer
Ideal Sight Restorer, c1900

Several devices were created to restore sight.  One was created by Dr. Wesley M. Barrett who founded the Barrett Institute in 1906 and began marketing his eye massager with booklets outlining additional exercises for the eyes as part of the Natural Eyesight System.  The System was sold until 1937 when the operation was shut down for mail fraud.

Similarly, "Professor" Charles Tyrell invented the Ideal Sight Restorer. Tyrell was a masseur who obtained a medical degree at the age of 57 from the New York Eclectic Medical College.  He had a private practice and two mail order concerns, one being The Ideal Company which manufactured his sight restoring device using suction to increase blood flow and reshape the cornea.  On several occasions, the American Medical Association investigated the Ideal Sight Restorer and its inventor, "Professor" Charles A. Tyrell, proclaiming the device to be "pseudomedical claptrap." In 1915, the Ideal Company moved to England and renamed itself the Neu-Vita Hygenic Institute to avoid prosecution.



  1. Nostrums and Patent Medicines
  2. Patent Medicine and the American Civil War
  3. To Strengthen the Eyes
  4. Sight Restorers
  5. Electrotherapy
  6. Violet Ray Machines
  7. Color Therapy
  8. Quackery's Demise

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American Academy of Ophthalmology