Robert Heitz (Strasbourg):
The "Kontaktbrille" of Adolf Eugen Fick (1887)
In September 1887 Adolf Eugen Fick, an ophthalmologist and Privatdozent
in Zurich, submitted a very original paper entitled "Eine Contactbrille"
(A contact spectacle) to the Archiv für Augenheilkunde. This was
a report on his work, which led to the development of contact lenses.
The article was published in March 1888 in both, the German and the
English issues of the Archiv.
A. E. Fick first performed experiments on rabbit eyes, then made casts
of cadaver eyes. He tried out the scleral contact lens on himself and
on people close to him. Finally he had scleral lenses made by Professor
Abbe of Jena and fitted six of his patients with them. Five of the patients
had irregular astigmatism and corneal scars. The sixth was a case of
keratoconus. The results were good, and encouraged him to pursue his
studies further. A. E. Fick had difficulties in getting the lenses made,
since at the time no optician wanted to make them for him.
His uncle, the physiologist A Fick who invented the tonometer, influenced
A. E. Fick. A. E. Fick worked in private ophthalmological practice,
and was "Privatdozent" (Reader) of Ophthalmology and Physiology
at the University of Zurich from 1887 to 1914. He died in 1937 at the
age of 85.
Robert F. Heitz M.D., Ph.D., 23A rue Trubner, F-67000 Strasbourg
Aloys Henning (Berlin):
The History of Joseph Hillmer’s Family at Hainburg
The oculist Joseph Hillmer's birthplace Hainburg has come to light
in 1999 (cf. Mitt. JHG 2 (2001) p. 68) by the registered baptism of
his son Johann Joseph in 1752 at the Berlin Calvinists' French church
(Huguenots). Investigations of the Hainburg archivist Erna Frank reveal
the Hillmers as "Baders" ("barber-surgeons", ranking
lower than the German "Wundarzt" - barber-surgeon - at the
time) or barber-surgeons in the town since 1685 until 1750. In 1685
the "Bader Meister" Leonhard Hillmer had settled down by a
house, burnt down in Hainburg. Turkish soldiers had destroyed Hainburg
by fire, when they besieged Vienna in 1683. Leonhard Hillmer (died 1713)
and his son Ferdinand (borne in 1687) practising medicine at Hainburg,
where two "Baders" had been in practice for 4000 inhabitants
(to-day 5700) before the siege of Vienna, were respected citizens with
important municipal duties. Compared with his family's social and economic
conditions in Hainburg, Joseph Hillmer's career as oculist seems to
have been an attempt to get higher social reputation and income. First
ophthalmiatric knowledges Joseph got probably by his stepfather, the
military barber-surgeon Andreas Bucher. When Joseph Hillmer's father
Ferdinand has died in 1730, Bucher married his widow Elisabeth, borne
as Zimmermann in Neusiedl on Lake, and took over his practice. Bucher's
death with 60 years by age has discontinued the Hillmers' tradition
as barber-surgeons at Hainburg in 1750. The death of Elisabeth Bucher
in 1755 is the last documented trace of the Hillmer family there.
Dr. Aloys Henning, Spandauer Straße 104 K, D-13591 Berlin
Jutta Herde (Halle):
On the History of Mydriatics
Since the antiquity animal, mineral as well as plant substances have
been used as remedies. By the search for and by the use of analgesic
drugs coincidental dilatation of the pupils has been noticed, especially
by using of Solanaceae. Celsus used the name mydriasis, but Galen recognised
the dilating effect of the pupil at first. The oldest tradition has
been done from Greek, Italy, Persia, Egypt, India and South of America
too. In the oldest book of medicine - Papyrus Ebers (~1600 b. C.) -
have been mentioned Mandragora as "dja-dja". Mandragora, Hyoscyamus
niger and albus and Datura have been well known by Dioscurides, Plinius,
Celsus, Galen and others, but Atropa only by Theophrast. Plinius recommended
the application of juice of the Anagallis before incision for the operation
of the cataract. Dioscurides and Celsus preferred compresses with leafs
of Hyoscyamus around the eye. Galen favoured solitary drugs to the mixtures
of Opium and Hyoscyamus by Greeks. Cocaine has the origin in the South
of America. A description and painting of Atropa belladonna have been
given by Hildegard von Bingen at the 12th century and by Leonhart Fuchs
1542 too. The effect of Atropine on the pupil documented by John Ray
1686. The name bella donna (beauty women) was coined by Matthioli in
Venetia in the 16th century. Linne established the name of species Atropa
(unavoidable). The basis were the new plant systematic and the relationship
with the Moires (goddesses of fate) Klotho, Lachesis and Atropos. The
suture spinning by Klotho weaving by Lachesis have been cutting by Atropos.
The systematic clinical investigation of mydriatics have been done independently
by Reimarus and Daries 1776, by J. Ch. Loder in Jena 1796, 1799/1800
by Carl von Himly and by R. Runge 1819. The investigations by Himly
were the beginning of the scientific clinical application of the mydriatics
and of the spreading to England and France. The first user in England
was Paget 1801 and Saunders 1809. The pharmacist Mein succeeded the
pure crystalline production of atropine 1831. J. Liebig analysed the
chemical composition. Geiger and Hesse isolated the pure substances
atropine, Hyoscyamine and Daturine from the plants 1833. The reasons
for the delaying use of the mydriatics were the uncontrolled content
of active substances in the solutions, the pure agreement by the patients
as well as the side effects. The gain acceptance for clinical using
started with the pure production of the acid atropinsulphate, of the
well founded scientific explanation of atropine by A. v. Graefe and
with the synthetic production.
Prof. Dr. Jutta Herde, Augenklinik der Martin-Luther Universität
Halle-Wittenberg, Magdeburger Straße 8, D-06112 Halle
Gerhard Holland (Kiel):
From the Oblique Focal Illumination to the Modem Slitlamp
Gullstrand brought to perfection the so-called oblique focal illumination
of the eye with the presentation of the Nernst-slitlamp on the 37th
meeting of the German Ophthalmological Society in Heidelberg in 1911.
This was the beginning of the story of success of the real slitlamp
with its various possibilities of being used in examination, documentation
and treatment of the eye. Out of the first years of its development
especially the physicist Otto Henker, the ophthalmologists Leonhard
Koeppen and Alfred Vogt and the company Zeiß-Jena have to be mentioned.
The historical collection of medicine and pharmaceutics at the Christian-Albrecht-University
Kiel owns slitlamps of Gullstrand-Henker (1916), Comberg (1933), Goldmann
(1940) and Littmann (1950). These slitlamps are a main topic of our
Prof. Dr. G. Holland, Esmarchstraße 51, D-42105 Kiel
Manfred Jähne (Aue:)
"Everything is coming from the mine ..."
Following Traces of Occupational Diseases in Saxony's Ore mountains
more than 400 Years ago
The mining industry of Saxony was because of its rich ore in the pole
position in Europe in the 15th to the 18th century. Though the pulmonary
cancer and the fire cataract are the oldest occupational diseases of
the world, but were acknowledged as occupational diseases only in 1925.
Both diseases have a history of nearly 500 years in the Ore mountains
and were noticed by Paracelsus (1493–1541) in 1537. His little
book "Von der Bergsucht oder Bergkranckheiten, drey Bücher"
is the first monography of occupational diseases of miners and foundry
workers. The mercuria lentis (Intoxication by mercury of the lens) is
perhaps described by Paracelsus, too?
Was Paracelsus possibly the first observer of three occupational diseases?
We found the first chronical bibliographical data of the fire cataract
and of the Ergophthalmology in the chronicle of the priest of the town
Scheibenberg (Ore mountains), Christian Lehmann sen. (1611–1688),
published in Leipzig in 1699 posthum, already 40 years before description
of the fire cataract by Lorenz Heister (1683–1758). Scientific
medicine in Saxony in former centuries, curse and blessing of the mine
and especially the problems of the fire cataract are described exactly
before this background.
Dr. med. habil. M. Jähne, Semmelweis-Siedlung 8, D-08301 Schlema
Tyrolean Ophthalmologists – “a most significant export”
Tyrol is the homeland of many important ophthalmologists. They were
born in Tyrol or spent a time of their life in Tyrol for learning ophthalmology.
Later they worked in other countries of Austria or abroad. Some of them
will be presented in the lecture. Because of their merit they may be
said to be “a most significant export”.
F. Krogmann, Kirchgasse 6, D-97291 Thüngersheim
Andreas Mettenleiter (Würzburg)
130 years Private Ophthalmologic Clinics in Wuerzburg (1840-1972)
When the surgeon and ophthalmologist Heinrich Adelmann (1807–1883)
opened a provisional ophthalmologic clinic in his private house in the
"Obere Wöllergasse", he started a tradition of prosperating
ophthalmologic private clinics in Wuerzburg. Whereas Friedrich Anton
von Troeltsch (1829–1890) specialised in treating otiatric patients
in his originally ophthalmologic clinic (opened in 1857), Robert von
Welz (1814–1878) dedicated his clinic (founded in 1855) to the
university of Wuerzburg: After his death, his clinic became the first
university ophthalmologic clinic. In the late 1860ies, the clinics of
Friedrich Christian Helfreich (1842–1927) and Adam Baeuerlein
(1840–1923) came into existence; in 1898, Baeuerlein sold his
private clinic to Karl Arens (1860–1930). Wilhelm Apetz's (1872–1956)
clinic, opened in 1901. was taken over by his son Heinrich (1908–19)
and existed until 1972. The heyday of the ophthalmologic clinics in
Wuerzburg were the decades between 1860 and 1920, when up to four private
clinics existed contemporously. The history of these private clinics
reflects the fast development of the speciality during the second half
of the 19th century.
Dr. A. Mettenleiter, Institut für Geschichte der Medizin der Universität
Würzburg, Oberer Neubergweg 10a, D-97074 Würzburg
Alfred Wilhelm Volkmann (1801–1877) – as Sensory
Physiologist: blamed, appraised, remembered
Volkmann taught in Leipzig, Dorpat and Halle, and published works on
anatomy and physiology of the visual system. Even though a true natural
Scientist himself he was fond of philosophical interpretations and regarded
“Physiology as Opponent of the Theory of Materialism and Identity
of Body and Soul" (1838). He thoughtfully designed simple experimental
setups, recommended to his readers for copy, in order to clarify contentious
observations. Two of his main works were published in 1836 and 1863/64;
in the time between he had to revoke several of his initial conclusions.
His contemporaries saw him critically: Burow claimed to reveal errors
and untruths (1842); Panum neglected a role for the soul in physiology
(1861); and Hering regarded Volkmann as ignorant of the pertinent literature
(1864). But von Helmholtz paid respect and cited Volkmann's work in
his Handbook of Physiological Optics (1867) 58 times. Today, i.e. 150
years later, Volkmann's achievement are well recognized in the German
literature. He first described the opposing disclination of subjective
vertical perception between the eyes and irradiation of the boundary
between black and white. He also determined the speed of eye movements
and constructed the Tachistoscope, the Macroscope and much more. His
name remains memorable.
Prof. Dr. H.-F. Piper, Im Brandenbaumer Feld 32, D-23564 Lübeck
Hans Remky (München):
On the Way to Corneal Topography: Ophthalmometry, Kerato-Scopy-Metry
In the 18th century instruments measuring anatomically the globe were
called OPHTHALMOMETER by French doctors, as well by HELMHOLTZ performing
in situ measures in 1854. In 1873 CUIGNET named the sciascopic technique
he invented KERATOMETRY.
In 1827 BREWSTER recommended KERATOSCOPY first described by SCHEINER
in 1619 as clinical tool. Beginning from 1838 important trials were
undertaken to quantify keratoscopic findings, e.g. by KOHLRAUSCH and
by SENFF. These trials resulted in the development of HELMHOLTZ’s
ophthalmometer, and of the later modification of COCCIUS.
In 1880 PLACIDO started a renaissance of keratoscopy leading to the
development of instruments of JAVAL and SCHlÖTZ and finally to
KERATOPHOTOGRAPHY, first described in 1881. GULLSTRAND, ERGGELET, DEKKING
and AMSLER had great efforts in improving this technique. The step to
modern keratophotography successfully happened in 1984 by computer-based
video analysis, still with the aid of the Plácido-disc.
Prof. Dr. H. Remky, Arabellastraße 5-19, D-81925 München
Dieter Schmidt (Freiburg):
Wilhelm Manz (1833–1911), first Professor of Ophthalmology at
the University Eye Hospital Freiburg (1868 )
Wilhelm Manz was born in Freiburg (May 29th, 1833). He was educated
in a grammar school in Freiburg and studied Medicine in Freiburg from
1851 to 1855. For completion of his medical education he visited several
hospitals in Prague, Vienna, and Paris from 1856 to 1857. In summer
1857, he visited Albrecht von Graefe in his Eye Hospital in Berlin.
Then, Manz returned to Freiburg and wrote his thesis on "Accommodation
of the fish eye" (1858). He passed the University examination as
an academic teacher ("Habilitation") in 1861. At that time
he worked at the Department of Physiology and Anatomy (Prosector) in
1868 he got the chair in Ophthalmology and the title Professor of Ophthalmology,
three years later. 1877 the Eye Hospital was built as one of the first
Ophthalmological University Hospitals in Germany. He was elected several
times as Dean of the medical faculty in Freiburg and was "Prorector"
at the University (1886) and received the title ,,Hofrat". In 1901
he retired. He died at April 20th, 1911.
He published numerous articles on ontogenesis and malformations of
the eye. including two important handbook publications on this topic
(1875). He made waxwork on the embryology of the eye. He published on
coloboma of the iris and choroid (1876), congenital microphthalmos (1880),
coloboma of the optic nerve (1891), and the eye in brainless monsters
He was the first who described tubercles in the choroid (1858, 1863,
1881, 1895). He created the expression "Retinitis proliferans"
(1880) and he experimentally examined the relation between increased
intracranial pressure and secondary changes of the optic nerve (1870).
He also described his clinical observations, such as orbital fractures
(1866), melanotic tumour of the cornea (1871), diphtherical palsy of
accommodation (1870). Manz observed a cyclitis in a patient with congenital
malformation of the iris (1875). The topics of additional publications
were: syphilitic eye diseases (1872, 1874), degeneration of the optic
nerve (1882), on "school myopia" (1883), metastatic tumour
of the choroid (1885), recurrent palsy of the oculomotor nerve (1885,
1889), histological findings of embolism in central retinal artery occlusion
(1891), and medullary nerve fibers in the retina (1894).
Prof. Dr. D. Schmidt, Universitäts-Augenklinik Freiburg, Kilianstraße
5, D-79106 Freiburg
Gottfried Vesper (Leipzig):
Charlotte von Lengefeld (1766-1826) had an Eye-operation
at the End of her Life
Mostly, Charlotte von Lengefeld is only known as the wife of the famous
German poet and writer Friedrich von Schiller. Her husband, Friedrich
von Schiller was often sick, and so she supported him by his literary
activity. At the age of nearly sixty years her visual acuity decreased
An operation on the eyes was necessary because of the diagnosis of cataract.
Only a few days later she died at July 9th in 1826, most probably on
MR Dr. G. Vesper, Harnackstraße 9, D-04317 Leipzig