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Better Eyesight Magazine: July - December 1919 (Dodo Press)
July - December 1919 (Dodo Press)

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William Horatio Bates (1860-1931) was an American physician who practiced ophthalmology and developed what is now known as the Bates Method for better eyesight, an educational method intended to improve vision by undoing a supposed habitual strain to see. The efficacy of the method is questionable, and his theory that the eye does not focus by changing the power of the lens, but rather by elongating the eyeball, through use of the extraocular oblique muscles, was contradicted by mainstream ophthalmology and optometry of his day and is still today. He graduated A. B. from Cornell University in 1881 and received his medical degree at the college of physicians and surgeons in 1885. He formulated a theory about vision health, and published the book Perfect Sight Without Glasses in 1920. He also discovered the astringent and haemostatic properties of the substance produced by the suprarenal gland, and its value in medicine, especially in surgeries. The substance would later be commercialized as adrenaline.