Feinbloom Announces Device to Aid Sight of Partially Blind
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Feinbloom Announces Device to Aid Sight of Partially Blind

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Announcement of the Mirroscope Spectacle, an optical device which increases visual acuity by 250 percent and employs a new principle in optical science magnifying the vision of the partially blind beyond that of any other known device, was made here today by Dr. William Feinbloom of New York before the International Congress of the American Optometric Association.

Many people whose vision is now limited to the recognition of newspaper headlines can obtain distant vision at home, theatres, movies, church, athletic events and while riding in trains and automobiles, through the aid of the Mirroscope Spectacle, he stated.

For nine years, Dr. Feinbloom explained, he had been working on the problem of achieving that maximum magnification of vision for the near blind in a convenient form that could be worn like ordinary spectacles.

His discovery was made in response to the need of those subnormal vision patients who could not even recognize the faces about them.


“The development for the first time of the principle of reflection at front surfaces in Galilean Telescopic Spectacles resulted in the design of the Mirroscope Spectacle, which is composed of two elliptical front silvered mirrors and three lenses,” he said. “The use of the reflection principle now makes it possible to obtain such high magnification and yet keep the tube length to twenty millimeters, so that they may be fitted into ordinary shell frames.”

By utilizing the Mirroscope Spectacle in addition to other optical aids previously presented by Dr. Feinbloom, definite improvement in vision should result for at least sixty per cent of the partially blind, he stated. This conclusion is based on a report presented before the American Academy of Optometry at Baltimore last December, when Dr. Feinbloom reviewed 500 unselscted cases of sub normal vision and showed that at least sixty per cent of these cases could be aided with some sub normal vision device.


In the Mirroscope Spectacle the physical axis of the objective and ocular are not co-incident, so that those people who see better from the side of their eyes can use the Mirroscope Spectacle without having to turn their eyes.

In explaining how the near blind can obtain longer working distances for reading, bookkeeping and writing, Dr. Feinbloom said

“It is because of the long working distance obtainable by the Mirroscope Spectacle that the visible field is so large. Similarly, in working at a desk or in reading, it is now possible to secure normal reading distance. Thus, the patient can hold the newspaper twenty inches away and obtain a field of view the width of a standard column.”

Dr. Feinbloom, in discussing the history of the development of the Mirroscope Spectacle, expressed his appreciation for the assistance given him in its technical development by Dr. Elmer E. Hotaling, chairman of the Committee on Sub-Normal Vision of the American Academy of Optometry.


Coupled with the announcement of this scientific discovery was Dr. Feinbloom’s assertion that he was contributing the Mirroscope Spectacle to science. In December, 1932, Dr. Feinbloom, who is a research fellow at Columbia University Graduate School, announced the cylinder telescopic spectacle before the American Academy of Optometry in Chicago, and likewise presented it as a gift to the scientific world. He did similarly with five new optical inventions, among them the Microscopic Spectacle, when he reported on their discovery before the same body in Baltimore last December.

Visiting optometrists from the United States, Canada and England were unanimous in agreeing that with Dr. Feinbloom’s discovery the partially blind will have a new world of activity open to them. Dr. Thomas McBurnie, president of the American Optometrical Association, said:


“The science of optometry has always endeavored to conserve the eyesight of the people. The Mirroscope, as another development within our profession will do much to improve the vision of many partially blind. Dr. Feinbloom deserves the thanks of humanity.”

Others who hailed Dr. Feinbloom’s achievement were: Dr. W. Jerome Heather of Chicago; Dr. E. C. Ebeling of St. Louis; Dr. F. Earle Cushing of Niagara Falls; Dr. Bernard A. Baer and Dr. Edwin H. Silver of Washington; Dr. Briggs Palmer and Dr. Howard C. Loane of Boston; Dr. A. H. Tweedle of Hamilton, Ont.; Dr. J. A. McFee of Belleville, Ont.; Dr. E. Bind, Toronto, Ont.; Dr. Gertrude M. Martin of Utica; Dr. John C. Neill of Philadelphia; Dr. S. K. Lesser of Fort Worth, and Dr. Walter I. Brown of New Bedford, former president of the American Academy of Optometry.

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