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First comprehensive optometric history book published in the US in over 50 years.


Penned by David Goss, OD, PhD, the book was published by Pacific University Press.

author opens package with samples of her new book and checks the hardcover (Adobe Stock / makasana photo)

(Adobe Stock / makasana photo)

David Goss, OD, PhD, emeritus professor of the Indiana University School of Optometry, has published a book titled, “From Spectacle Making Trade to Scholarly Profession: A History of Optometry in the United States.” The book was published by Pacific University Press and is the first book covering a comprehensive perspective of optometry history in the United States in more than 50 years.

According to its publisher, the book looks at the long and noble history of optometry, mainly focusing on the United States. “Along with an overview of the history of optometry from the invention of spectacles to recent years, the book considers the maturation of the optometric examination from simple trial and error of spectacles to today’s comprehensive eye and vision examination; the history of optometric education from the brief instructional programs offered in the late nineteenth century to the challenging academic programs of the present; and the increasing sophistication of optometric publications.”

Goss holds multiple degrees including a BA degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, a BS and OD degree from Pacific University, and a PhD in physiological optics and MLS degree from Indiana University.

“The book is intended to give the reader an awareness and appreciation of some of the processes and persons responsible for optometry’s advancement from the trade, albeit an important one of spectacle making to its current standing as a strong scholarly profession,” says author Goss. “It is aimed toward optometrists and optometry students, but others curious about optometry may wish to read about the profession’s proud history.”

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