"> Timeline of William Horatio Bates, founder of the Bates Method of Vision Improvement

Timeline of William Horatio Bates, founder of the Bates Method of Vision Improvement

I put this together years ago (2005? earlier?), based off the sources further below.

1860Born on December 27th in Newark, New Jersey, as the son of Charles and Amelia Bates. (Biography; Obituary; Quackenbush, 656)
1881Graduated with a B.S. in Agriculture at Cornell University in New York. (Biography; Quackenbush, 656)
1883Married Edith Kitchell of New York City. Together they had a son, Halsay Bates, sometime within three years. (Biography)
1885Graduated with a medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York. (Biography)
1886Wife Edith died. (Biography)
1886Introduced a new operation for persistent deafness, consisting of puncturing or incising the ear drum membrane. (Biography)
1886Cured a medical student of myopia. This is when it all began. (MacFadden, xi).
1886While seeking to determine the therapeutic effect on the eye of the active principles of the ductless glands, he discovered the astringent and hemostatic properties of the aqueous extract of the suprarenal capsule, later commercialized as adrenalin. (Biography; Quackenbush, 656)
1886-1888clinical assistant at the Manhattan Eye and Ear hospital; attending physician at Bellevue hospital. (Biography)
1886-1891Instructor in ophthalmology at the New York Post Graduate Hospital and Medical School. Ophthalmologists at the school put glasses on myopic doctors and Bates then had those doctors remove their glasses and cured them of myopia. Dr. Roosa, the head of the institution, did not accept what Bates had been doing and he expelled Bates from the institution. (Biography; Better Eyesight, Nov 1919)
1886-1898Attending physician at the New York Eye Infirmary, Northern Dispensary, Northeastern dispensary, Northwestern Dispensary, and Harlem Hospital. (Biography)
1886-1902Conducted research at the “Pathology Laboratory of Dr. Pruden at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University” (Quackenbush, 656).
1891Published his first article in a medical journal on the elimination of myopia (Pollack, 2). More followed years later.
1894Invented astigmatic keratotomy, an operation to correct astigmatism (Bates, “A suggestion of an operation”; Waring).
1896Resigned his hospital appointments and began to engage in experimental work. (Biography)
1902Left New York.
1903“Licensed to practice medicine in Grand Forks, North Dakota” (Quackenbush, 656).
1903-1910Successfully implemented his methods for preventing myopia in schoolchildren into the public schools of Grand Forks, North Dakota (Bates, “the prevention of myopia”).
1910“Elected president of the Grand Forks district Medical Society” (Quackenbush, 657).
1910Returned to New York.
1910-1923Worked as attending physician at the Harlem Hospital in New York City. In 1923 he left to work solely at his own private practice (Biography; Better Eyesight, May 1923, Dec 1923; Quackenbush, 656).
1911Began implementing his methods for the prevention of myopia in some public schools in New York City (Bates, “Myopia prevention by teachers”).
1911-1914Sometime in this period, Bates cured Emily C. Lierman and subsequently hired her as his assistant in experimental work in the Physiological Laboratory in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.(Obituary; Better Eyesight, Feb 1920, Nov 1929). He employed her as his assistant in his new practice where, instead of prescribing glasses, he taught patients how to see.
1914-192?He and Emily worked together to hold a “Clinic day” at the Harlem Hospital Clinic three times a week. These were free and open to the public, but restricted to people living in the hospital’s district, due to hospital rules. The rule was occasionally excepted, however. Throughout each Clinic day there was a line of people waiting to be treated, each treatment limited to about an hour (Better Eyesight, Jan 1922, May 1923, Dec 1929). The Clinic days were related in the Emily’s “Stories from the Clinic” articles in each issue of the Better Eyesight magazine beginning with February 1920. I am not clear, however, whether they treated paying patients in that same clinic on non-“Clinic” days. In 1923, the Clinic was discontinued. Bates began holding a “Clinic Day” at his own private practice on Saturdays.
1920Published his book, Perfect Sight Without Glasses, also called The Cure of Imperfect Sight by Treatment Without Glasses.
1919-1930Published monthly issues of his Better Eyesight magazine. Continued to treat patients constantly for practically all forms of imperfect sight.
1922Emily Lierman relates how Bates continues to work seven days a week at the rate of ten hours per day . He was 62 years old at this point (Better Eyesight, March 1922).
1928Married Emily Lierman, daughter of Robert Ackerman of Newark, New Jersey. (Obituary; Quackenbush, 656)
1931Died on July 10th in his home at the age of seventy during a black flu epidemic (Obituary; Biography; Quackenbush, 657) Emily survived him and later republished his book, but the fate of his children is unknown.

some sources of information as cited above:

Bates, W.H. “A suggestion of an operation to correct astigmatism.” Archives of Ophthalmology. 1894. vol 23.Bates, W.H. and Emily Lierman/Bates. Various articles. Better Eyesight. Various issues. 1919-1930.

Bates, W.H. “The prevention of myopia in school children.” New York Medical Journal. July 29, 1911. 237-238.

“Biography of William H. Bates.” The National Cyclopedia of American Biography. vol 24, p 383-4. <http://www.i-see.org/bates_bio.html>

“Dr. W.H. Bates Dies; An Eye Specialist.” New York Times. 13 July 1931: p 13, col 1. <http://www.i-see.org/bates_obit.html>

MacFadden, Bernarr. Strengthening the Eyes. New York: MacFadden Publications, Inc., 1925.

Pollack, Philip. The Truth About Eye Exercises. Philadelphia: Chilton Company, 1956.

Quackenbush, Thomas R., ed. Better Eyesight: The Complete Magazines of William H. Bates. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2001. 636-7.

Waring, George O., III, M.D. “William H. Bates: The originator of Astigmatic Keratotomy and Psycho-ophthalmology.” Refractive and Corneal Surgery. Jan/Feb 1989. vol 5. 56-57.

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Author: David

I founded iblindness.org in 2002 as I began reading books on the Bates Method and became interested in vision improvement. I believe that everyone who is motivated can identify the roots of their vision problems and apply behavioral changes to solve them.

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Alright, The Timeline is back!