Museum of Vision

Dedicated to preserving ophthalmic history

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    1. Ancient Artifacts
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Collection Sets


Medical quackery is the practice of aggressively promoting an unproven medical treatment.  Learn more about the miracle cures in our collection:

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Artifacts (14)

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W. C. Wilson
Actina Battery
Actina Battery comes in cloth-covered box (purple). Battery is nickle-plated with copper band spiraling down. This small steel cylinder was advertised as being an electric device that could cure eye, ear and nose troubles by stimulating the blood vessels. Instead of housing a battery it contai
Barrett Institute
Barrett Eye Normalizer
Eye massager consisting of two rubber eye cups attached to an oblong, chrome body. Knob at side of box causes the cups to rotate or massage the eyes. Part of the Natural Eyesight System.
Eye massage device
Eye exerciser housed in worn leather, pull-off case.
Eye Massager
White plastic eye mask with black plastic, pin-hole eye inserts. Inside of mask is lined with gray foam. Black head strap is adjustable elastic with Velcro on ends. Instructional booklet is published in several languages, housed in accession file.
Galvanic Spectacles
Plastic frames with dark green lenses. Mounted to the inside is an additional metal frame with both insulated and exposed electrical wiring. Around the oculars fit two plastic eye pieces. Spectacles come in an unusal case made of wood and metal and lined in wool.
Galvanic stimulator
Wooden box containing galvanic battery. Underneath battery is a space with wires and electrodes. This small machine was designed for home. Patients were encouraged to use small amounts of electricity to stimulate the blood and organs.
Neu-Vita Hygienic Institute
Ideal Sight Restorer
Black case with a red interior, gold letter on inside of lid. Quackery device.
The Ideal Company
Ideal Sight Restorer
Quackery device made by The Ideal Co., New York. In green leather box, c.1900.

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Archives (2)

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William Benedict+ MD Collection
Newspaper clipping: Academy president Goldstein warns of quack speech training schools
William Benedict+ MD Collection
William Benedict+ MD Collection
Newspaper clipping: quack hearing aids duping public warns Academy
William Benedict+ MD Collection

Displaying results 1–2 of 2

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American Academy of Ophthalmology