Guide to the Records of the Dartmouth Medical School, Dartmouth Eye Institute, 1928 - 1952Manuscript DA-35

Full Finding Aid

Title:

Guide to the Records of the Dartmouth Medical School, Dartmouth Eye Institute, 1928 - 1952

Call Number:

Manuscript DA-35

Collection Dates:

1928 - 1952

Size of Collection:

27 boxes (30 linear ft.)

Access to Collection:

Unrestricted.

Use & Access

The materials represented in this guide may be accessed through the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College. Rauner Library is located in Webster Hall. The materials must be used on-site and may not leave Rauner Library.

Rauner Special Collections Library is open to the public and in most cases no appointment is necessary. The exception is in the case of materials stored off site for which there may be a delay of up to 48 hours in retrieval. Please consult the Access to Collection statement below or contact Rauner Reference.

Access to Collection

Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions

Permission from Dartmouth College Required for Publication or Reproduction.

Introduction to the Collection

The Dartmouth Eye Institute Records include lab notebooks, research data, article drafts, patents and agreements, photographs, annual reports, grant progress reports, and committee memoranda and minutes. The Records document much of the research activity on topics such as detection and treatment of disorders of the eyes (including cyclophoria and aniseikonia), refraction, binocular vision and space perception and visual sensations, as well as the development of measuring and diagnostic ophthalmological instruments such as the horopter, haploscope, ophthalmo-eikonometer and the space eikonometer. Represented is the research of Adelbert Ames, Jr., Robert E. Bannon, Alfred Bielschowsky, Hermann M. Burian, Elmer H. Carleton, Gordon H. Gliddon, Henry A. Imus, Walter B. Lancaster, Leo F. Madigan, Kenneth N. Ogle, John Pearson and other members of the DEI. There is some documentation of the administration of the Institute; there is no documentation of the clinical work or the patient records.

Introduction

Adelbert Ames, Jr., the founder and real guiding spirit of the Dartmouth Eye Institute, was neither an ophthalmologist nor optometrist. He was trained as a lawyer, but after a few years he abandoned legal practice to become an artist. Ames' analytic mind led him to explore the relative influence of visual and aesthetic factors in his painting. His interest in this profound problem brought him to Hanover, N. H., in 1919 to consult Charles Proctor, professor of physics at Dartmouth. Ames decided to start at the beginning and study the optical characteristics of the eye. As a result, the Department of Research in Physiological Optics was established at Dartmouth and some excellent studies on the dioptrics of the eye were made by Ames and Proctor." Because of this work, Ames was elected Professor of Research in Physiological Optics and given a Master of Arts degree by the College in 1921.

In 1923 Ames enlisted the aid of Gordon H. Gliddon, lens designer at the Eastman Kodak Company and a faculty member of the Rochester School of Optometry. Two of Gliddon's former students, Leo F. Madigan and Henry A. Imus, both graduates of the Rochester School of Optometry, eventually joined the staff. (Other optometrists to [later] become associated with the Dartmouth Eye Institute include E. Craig Wilson, Leon E. Straw, Wendell Triller, Rudolph T. Textor, Vincent J. Ellerbrock, Rita Walsh, Walter Johnson, and Ethel J. Babbitt.)" "Ames began to tackle the question of binocular vision on a broad basis, leading off with one of the most complicated factors, cyclophoria. It was at this point that the work of Ames first came to the attention of ophthalmologists. More especially, Walter B. Lancaster, of Boston, became interested in the studies carried on at Dartmouth and lent his active help and advice.

The Rockefeller Foundation Fund contributed generously to the support of the research work and the American Optical Company, aside from giving financial support to the research, made available its instrument and lens manufacturing facilities. The major clinical contribution of the Dartmouth Eye Institute was the development of instrumentation and techniques for the measurement and correction of aniseikonia." "This particular subject was studied relentlessly in the ensuing years.

The more these clinical studies progressed, the more the feeling grew that aniseikonia, as a component of the sensory part of the visual apparatus, has a significant bearing on the neuromuscular anomalies of the eyes. It was at this time that Alfred Bielschowsky, of Breslau, Germany, visited this country as a lecturer. Lancaster, always maintaining his interest in the work of Ames, suggested to him that Bielschowsky might be willing to come to Hanover to join the department. Ames approached Bielschowsky, and he agreed to come for a six months' visit. During this visit he became so impressed with the possibilities which the department had to offer that he decided to return to Hanover to stay permanently. The coming of Bielschowsky gave a tremendous impetus to the organization. The Department of Research in Physiological Optics was transformed into the Dartmouth Eye Institute, consisting of a research division and a clinical division. Bielschowsky became director of the Institute, and the staff of each division was enlarged considerably. The work of the clinical divisions, more especially, was expanded. The research division continued to carry on its problems: Ames became more and more interested in the problems regarding aniseikonia and spatial orientation and its influence on the functioning of the organism; Ogle worked on refinement of the means of measuring and correcting aniseikonia and on what became known as the "induced" size effect.

The sudden, and most untimely death of Bielschowsky in January 1940 was a severe blow to all these activities. He was not immediately replaced by a successor, and the writer of this note [Dr. Burian] attempted to carry on the responsibilities of the clinical division on an informal basis, a rather difficult task, in view of the lack or official authority to do so. To the great relief and joy of all members of the staff, Walter B. Lancaster agreed in the fall of 1940 to head up the Dartmouth Eye Institute. It was felt by the staff that his knowledge of the field, his intimate acquaintance with the organization and traditions of American ophthalmology, the weight of his word with those best qualified in the field and, last but not least, his inspiring personality not only would give a new and better standing to the Dartmouth Eye Institute in the medical world but also would bring its work to a new flowering under his leadership.

Unfortunately, this was not to be so. Lancaster had tacitly understood that he was to be the director of the Institute and that he would, as such, have a decisive influence on its policies. But when he came, he found that a reorganization had taken place. The director was now a layman, originally appointed by the president of Dartmouth College to raise funds for the Dartmouth Eye Institute and improve its administration, which had been run in a somewhat amateurish fashion. The policies were to be determined by a board of trustees, on which the medical members of the institute had no influence. Lancaster himself was given the title of chief of staff. Not one to be deterred by the matter of a title, Lancaster, in spite of his disappointment, nevertheless went to work with amazing energy, trying to put his ideas to work. But he soon found that this was by no means easy. In the general policies of the Institute his word had little weight; he could do little to influence the direction of the research work, and even in the running of the clinical division he was often thwarted. It was especially painful to him that his cherished plan for developing the Dartmouth Eye Institute as a teaching institution - for which it was eminently suited - was absolutely declined. Lancaster worked and fought hard for what he had come to achieve at a considerable sacrifice. But, finally he drew the only possible conclusion consistent with his dignity. In November 1942 he resigned and returned to his practice in Boston.

To every clear-sighted member of the staff it was obvious that it was the end of the Dartmouth Eye Institute when Lancaster was permitted to leave. Yet it seemed that this institution should not be left to disintegrate if at all possible. I [Dr. Burian] was one that hoped against hope that it might be saved. I [Dr. Burian] stayed on in the capacity of ophthalmologist in chief until July 1945, but it was a losing fight. Too many divergent interests prevented integrated progress. One after another, the members of the staff resigned. Various attempts at reorganization were unsuccessful; finally, in an announcement dated May 10, 1947, the closing of the Dartmouth Eye Institute was announced.

The above text is taken from two previously published histories of the Dartmouth Eye Institute: "The Dartmouth Eye Institute - Its Contributions to Visual Science" by Robert E. Bannon of the Bureau of Visual Science, American Optical Company, Southbridge Massachusetts (reprinted from The Optical Journal & Review of Optometry, March 1, 1957); and "The History of the Dartmouth Eye Institute" by Hermann M. Burian, M.D., Boston, Massachusetts (reprinted from the Archives of Ophthalmology, volume 40, August 1948).

Related Material

Related material in Special Collections includes the Blanche B. Marshall McLane Bruner Papers, 1946 - 1956 (Collection Number: MS-768), a vertical file on the Dartmouth Eye Institute, vertical files on the individual members of the DEI, a photograph file of DEI staff and apparatus and a M.A.L.S. thesis by Dr. David Bisno. A bibliography of DEI articles is located in Publications by the Members of the Staff of the Dartmouth Eye Institute, Hanover, New Hampshire (call number D. C. History RE-14-.D37 copy 2). Some of these articles are in Special Collections, individually cataloged. The Dana Biomedical Library also houses articles by DEI staff as well as twenty reels of microfilmed ophthalmological articles, including some written by DEI staff (call number Dana Microfilm 911r).

Series, Box & Folder List

Series 25993, Patents, 1917 - 1955

Series contains correspondence about patents, patent assignments, agreements, and descriptions of ophthalmological patents granted to Adelbert Ames, Jr., other members of the DEI and Dartmouth College. There are American patent applications and claims, and Letters Patent for many of the American, British, Canadian and French patents. Descriptions of ophthalmological patents granted to non-DEI inventors are also included; these seem to have been used as reference files by the DEI. Much of the correspondence concerns details of the patent application and claims process. Of note is the 1934 contracted agreement between Dartmouth College and American Optical Company covering use and rights of patents between the two organizations. Another noteworthy document concerns the release of all patent rights by Mr. and Mrs. Adelbert Ames, Jr. to Dartmouth College. The series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Box: 2944, Dates: 1917 - 1955

Patent files

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2945, Dates: 1917 - 1955

Patent files

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Series 25994, Research and Writings, 1858 - 1985

Series contains the laboratory data and some writings of the DEI Research Division. The series is organized in four groups: laboratory notes, optical measurements of subjects, draft writings, and Professor Charles N. Haskins' calculations. The laboratory notes are the raw and transferred data of experiments on topics such as image asymmetry and stereoscopic vision. The second group, optical measurements, is the raw and finished data of individual test subjects' measurements performed on various optical apparatus such as the horopter and haploscope. The initials of some test subjects are recognizable as DEI staff. The third group is the draft writings of DEI members. Some of the drafts were revised and published. (Publications are cataloged and accessed via the Dartmouth College Library Online System.) Within this material are "chronological files" which are mostly article drafts written by Ames, Bannon and Ogle. The files contain some correspondence, as well. The last section of the series is Professor Charles N. Haskins' calculations in the subjects of binocular perspective and physiological optics.

Box: 2946, Dates: 1922 - 1952

Research and Writings

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2947, Dates: 1922 - 1952

Research and Writings

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2948, Dates: 1922 - 1952

Research and Writings

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2949, Dates: 1922 - 1952

Research and writings

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2950, Dates: 1922 - 1952

Research and Writings

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2951, Dates: 1922 - 1952

Research and writings

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2952, Dates: 1922 - 1952

Research and writings

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2953, Dates: 1922 - 1952

Research and Writings

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2954, Dates: 1922 - 1952

Research and Writing

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2955, Dates: 1922 - 1952

Research and writing

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 5404, Dates: 1858 - 1949

Books

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • Folder: 1, "Vision With Two Eyes," Dr. P. L. Panum, 1858
  • Folder: 2, "Eye Movements," A. Tschermak, circa 1949
  • Folder: 3, "Space Perception (Raunism), Chaps I-II," F. B. Hofman, 1925
  • Folder: 4, "Space Perception (Raunism), Chaps III-IV," F. B. Hofman, 1925
  • Folder: 5, "Space Perception (Raunism), Chaps V-VI-1," F. B. Hofman, 1925
  • Folder: 6, "Space Perception (Raunism), Chaps VI-VII 2-3," F. B. Hofman, 1925
  • Folder: 7, "Mathematical Analysis of Binocular Vision" Rudolf K. Luneburg, 1947
  • Folder: 8, "Manual of Instuctions For Use Of Simplified Space Eikonometer (Vectograph Model)," Robert J. Beitel, Jr., 1944

Box: 9451, Dates: 1923 - 1985

Anthony Bannon - unprocessed research and writting materials acc no 11-0253

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Series 25995, Adminitrative records, 1926 - 1956

Series contains documentation of the Dartmouth Eye Institute administrative activities. These files are incomplete and do not provide thorough documentation of the of the DEI. There is correspondence, committee memoranda and reports, annual reports, grant progress reports and research program notes. There are also files of press clippings which were apparently circulated to DEI staff to keep them current with Dartmouth College and local events that may have had bearing on work at the Institute. Of particular interest is the Tamblyn and Brown, consultant's report of September 14, 1937, "The Dartmouth Eye Institute: A Survey and Recommendations." There are no personnel files present. The series is organized by format and within each format the records are arranged alphabetically by title or name. The press clippings are in approximate chronological order. There are miscellaneous files at the end of the series that are loosely identified as administrative in nature and most closely related to this series.

Box: 2956, Dates: 1926 - 1956

Adminitrative records, A - Prese

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2957, Dates: 1926 - 1956

Adminitrative records, Press - Research Committee, Apr. 1939

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2958, Dates: 1926 - 1956

Adminitrative records, Research Comm., May 1939 - Vectogrpah

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2959, Dates: 1940 - 1842

Adminitrative records, Daily journal sheets, Juy 1940 - June 1942

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2960, Dates: 1942 - 1943

Administrative records, Daily journal sheets, July 1942 - June 1943

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2961, Dates: 1943 - 1944

Administrative records, Daily journal sheets, July 1943 - June 1944

Access Restrictions

Access restricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2962, Dates: 1944 - 1945

Adminsitrative records, Daily journal sheets, July 1944 - June 1945

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2963, Dates: 1945 - 1947

Administrative records, Daily journal sheets, July 1945 - June 27, 1947

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2964, Dates: 1926 - 1956

Administrative records, misc. A - Lea

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2965, Dates: 1926 - 1956

Administrative records, misc. Len - W

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Series 25996, Photographs, blueprints, and overized material, 1928 - 1942

This series is organized by format. The group of photographs contain the images of the ophthalmological apparatus developed and used by the Dartmouth Eye Institute, of DEI staff members and of awards won by Adelbert Ames, Jr. and other DEI members. There are some negatives with their respective photographs. The photographs vary in size from 3″×4″ to 8″×10″. The photographs are arranged alphabetically by name. The majority of the blueprints are of the testing apparatus developed by DEI staff. Included in the oversize materials are several items which have been retained for exhibition purposes: a wooden sign from the DEI Clinic; a photostat chart showing research activity at the DEI for the years 1929 - 1940; and an illustration demonstrating eye testing for characteristics such as peripheral fusion using special projectors and a tangent projection screen.

Box: 2966, Dates: 1928 - 1942

Photographs, A - Spaceconometer (new)

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2967, Dates: 1928 - 1942

Photographs, A - Spaceconometer (old) - Velez case

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Box: 2968, Dates: 1928 - 1942

Blueprints and oversized materials

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box Contents

  • There is no folder listing for this box.

Finding Aids