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

Color Therapy

Blue glasses

In 1854, Englishman Robert Hunt wrote that sunlight, passing through a blue, plano lens, had the ability to magnetize a compass needle.  His writings on the properties of blue glass inspired many to look into the healing powers of light and color.
 
The first major proponent of color therapy was Augustus J. Pleasonton who became convinced that blue light could revitalize all living things.  Pleasonton wrote that blue light caused an electromagnetic current to be delivered throughout the body by the nervous system, invigorating every organ.   His claims created a huge fad for all things blue including spectacles, window panes, wall paper and curtains. It was so pervasive, in fact, that three popular songs were published including the "Blue Glass March", the "Blue Glass Galop", and the "Blue Glass Schottische".  In 1877, the Scientific American published a scathing three-part exposé entitled "The Blue Glass Deception," which soundly debunked his theories.



  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