Founded during the Civil War as the first specialty society in this country and just thirteen years after Helmholtz invented the ophthalmoscope, the American Ophthalmological Society is now celebrating over one hundred and fifty years as a professional organization.
The founders established an organizational format that set ethical as well as scientific standards at a time when the study of diseases of the eye in this country was sadly in need of improvement. Over the ensuing years, members of the Society have witnessed and participated in great progress in ophthalmology.
The history of the Society traverses a period from the very beginnings of specialization, when American physicians and surgeons acquired training in Europe under celebrated teachers, through the time when home grown clinical and experimental investigators of ophthalmologic problems began to flourish in great academic departments of ophthalmology and remarkable technologic improvements were developed.
The AOS membership has served to influence virtually every facet of American ophthalmology and the Society has proudly sustained its original purpose, "the advancement of ophthalmic science and art."