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William H. Bates

William Horatio Bates was born in Newark on 23rd of December 1860 and died in New York on 10th of July 1931. He took a degree in medicine in 1885 after a degree in Literature in 1881. He then became teacher of Ophthalmology at the Medical School for Graduates of New York Hospital. Starting from 1896 he progressively abandoned the hospital and devoted himself to a research work that brought to development of  a new method for the treatment of vision defects known all over the world with his name.

His professional career is studded with important achievements. He discovered adrenalin and set up a  new type of surgery for persons affected by permanent deafness (such technique, appropriately updated, is still in use). He wrote “Perfect sight without glasses” and various articles on his activity published by “Better eyesight magazine”. As a result of his discoveries he obtained on one side the gratitude of those who benefited and still benefit by his research and on the other side the disappointment of the medical class that tried in all ways to discredit him until making him struck off the roll of the doctors.

His personal life was as eventful as his professional one. He married three times after having been widowed twice. He disappeared twice for long periods of times of which nobody ever got to know anything. It is also a mystery how he had been found and convinced to come back to New York and resume his activity.

Apart from the peculiarities of his life, W.H. Bates remains the greatest known personality who devoted his life to the research in the field of the vision, concentrating on its relations with the physical and mental aspects of  the human being.

“The fact is that, except  in rare cases, man is not a reasoning being. He is dominated by authority, and when the facts are not in accord with the view imposed by authority, so much the worse for the facts. They may, and indeed must, win in the long run; but in the meantime the world gropes needlessly in darkness and endures much suffering that might have been avoided.”

Dr. William Horatio Bates