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In honor of SECO International, we're highlighting this historic tidbit, courtesy of This Day In History (www.history.com/this-day-in-history) Feb 29, 1980: When the Beechcraft Bonanza carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper crashed outside Clear Lake, Iowa, in the early morning hours of February 3, 1959, it struck the ground with such force that all three passengers were killed instantly, and the plane's wreckage was strewn across nearly 300 yards of snow-covered cornfields. The death certificate issued by the Cerro Gordo County Coroner noted the clothing Holly was wearing, the presence of a leather suitcase near his… Read more
Herman Snellen was a Dutch ophthalmologist who devised an eye chart in 1862 to test a person’s visual acuity. This Snellen chart is still used today, in several versions. It consists of rows of letters which decrease in size but increase in number with each descending row. A person standing 20 feet from the chart who can clearly read the sixth row down is said to have 20/20 vision. If a person standing 20 feet from the chart cannot read this line, but can read the line 3 rows higher, he/she is said to have 20/40 vision. These letters are… Read more
We exhibit at many trade shows throughout the year. It's always been a great way to demonstrate our Smart System to prospective customers, mingle with industry partners and get feedback from current customers on our developing technologies. This year Chicago will host not one but three big industry shows: ASCRS, AOA and AAO (Ophthalmology). As we head to NYC this week for International Vision Expo East, I thought I'd throw these two huge convention centers in the ring together and see how they shake down. Jacob… Read more
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has designated April 2012 as Sports Eye Safety Month to help increase public awareness of wearing protective eyewear when participating in team sports. According to the AAO: • An estimated 40,000 sports eye injuries occur every year. The majority of victims are children, many of whom suffer permanent visual impairment • Baseball and basketball account for the largest number of injuries among young athletes • Little League pitchers can achieve pitching speeds up to 70 mph, fast enough to seriously damage an eye • In basketball, serious eye injuries caused by flying fingers and… Read more
On this day in 1953, the horror film The House of Wax, starring Vincent Price, opened in New York. It was the first movie from a major motion-picture studio to be shot using the three-dimensional, or stereoscopic, film process and one of the first horror films to be shot in color. The 3-D filming process involved using two cameras, or a single twin-lensed camera, to represent both the right and the left eye of the human viewer. Images from the two cameras were then projected simultaneously onto the screen. Moviegoers had… Read more
"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." Mahatma Gandhi The ASCRS Ophthalmology Hall of Fame was created by ASCRS to honor ophthalmology's pioneers. In the past 11 years, 45 outstanding ophthalmologists have been chosen for induction by their peers. On April 21, 2012, the Hall inducts two more distinguished honorees: Louis Braille and Jack T. Holladay, MD. Louis Braille was born in 1809 near Paris, France. At age three, he developed an infection that blinded both eyes… Read more
The ARVO 2012 show takes place next week, May 6-9. ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) is the world's largest gathering of international eye and vision researchers. Coincidentally, today marks the anniversary of another great meeting of the minds, the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, the first in a series of exhibitions of culture and industry that became popular in the 19th century. On May 1, 1851, the Great Exhibition opened to wide acclaim in the Crystal Palace in London. Inside the Crystal Palace,… Read more
Kidding! Chevrolet produced this interesting video back in 1938 (high-tech for the time?) about how the human eye functions and sees colors. My rating: 4 out of 5 stars...would've been 5 if the lobster had snapped at that guy's hand. Click HERE to view. The end frame says "A Jam Handy Picture". Henry Jamison "Jam" Handy was a U.S. Olympic breaststroke swimmer (Bronze, 1904) and water polo player (Bronze, 1924), who began making films during WWI about how to operate military equipment. After the war he began making films… Read more
Robert R. McCormick, a prominent member of the McCormick family, and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, championed a purpose-built lakeside convention center for Chicago as far back as 1927. In 1958, ground was broken for a $35 million facility that opened in November 1960, and was named after McCormick, who died in 1955. On a bitterly cold January night in 1967, McCormick Place was ablaze, engulfed in raging flames. The building that was supposed to be fireproof and "outlast Rome's glories" was consumed frighteningly fast. Smoke was reported by janitors at 2:05 a.m. and by 2:30 a.m., when Fire Commissioner… Read more
The History of Eyeglasses, part 1 The oldest known lens was found in the ruins of ancient Nineveh and was made of polished rock crystal, an inch and one-half in diameter. Aristophanes in "The Clouds" refers to a glass for burning holes in parchment and also mentions the use of burning glasses for erasing writing from wax tablets. According to Pliny, physicians used them for cauterizing wounds. The first image magnification technology, the reading stone (a.k.a magnifying glass) was developed between the years 1000 and 1250. It was a segment of… Read more
Didn't read Part 1? Click here! In 1752 James Ayscough advertised spectacles with double hinged side pieces. These became extremely popular and appear more often than any other kind in paintings, prints, and caricatures of the period. Lenses were made of tinted glass as well as clear. Ayscough felt that "white glass gives an offensive glaring light, very prejudicial to the eyes, and on that account, green and blue glasses have been advised...". In Spain Pablo Minguet recommended turquoise, green, or yellow lenses but not amber or red. European men and women, particularly the French, were self-conscious about wearing… Read more
Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season. Looking ahead down the road of 2013, I can't help but stumble over the Medical Device Tax that went into effect Jan. 1. OK, I understand that the U.S. economy is not good and the debt grows everyday. I understand that as a nation we need to make certain sacrifices to help the greater good. And, while I'm not a fan of income taxes or retail taxes, I've never existed without them so I pay my part. But what sense is there in taxing Medical Devices?? I'll be scratching… Read more
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