WILLIAM PORTERFIELD (1695-1771). A treatise on the eye, the manner and phaenomena of vision 1st edition. 2 vol. Edinburgh: Printed for A. Miller at London, 1759.
Porterfield was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, received his M.D. in 1717 at Rheims, and by 1721 was practicing in Edinburgh. Porterfield was made a professor at the University of Edinburgh in 1724 but apparently never taught.
Porterfield devoted himself chiefly to research on the physiology of vision, reporting his experiments and observations in this book. Porterfield’s Treatise was carefully read by all of the subsequent great contributors to ophthalmology and visual science for more than a century after its publication.
One of the most erudite of 18th century medical authors, Porterfield quoted widely from both the ‘old’ and ‘modern’ authors of his day. This book’s greatest strength, however, lies in numerous original experiments and observations about visual physiology.
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