Google Doodle Honours Inventor of the Eye Test

Ferdinand Monoyer, the inventor of the first decimal eye test, has been honoured with a Google Doodle in celebration of what would have been his 181st birthday.

Google has changed it’s front-page Doodle.  While this morning’s Google Doodle might have been one of the more obscure, most people will recognize his work.

Ferdinand Monoyer was a famed ophthalmologist, who created the first decimal eye chart back in 1872.  The decimal eye chart are those sheets an eye doctor will tell you to try and read, while blocking one of your eyes.  The chart features rows of letters of different sizes, getting larger towards the bottom.  
via Wikimedia
Each row, and size, represents a different diopter, a measuring unit for the curve of the eye which Monoyer invented – and is still widely in use today.

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The ophthalmologist and his methods became pioneers in the field of vision.  Monoyer also took time to hide his own name inside of his original groundbreaking chart:  The first letters of each line in descending order sell his last name, while the last letter from each line in decending order spell his first.


The original Monoyer chart has been mostly replaced with a newer version, the Snellen chart, which was invented shortly after Monoyer’s, and places the largest letters at the top.

Around three-quarters of Americans wear either glasses, contact lenses or another form of vision correction, according to the Vision Council of America, and almost 285 million are visiually impaired according to the World Health Organization
Ferdinand Monoyer was born in Lyon, France on May 9th, 1836.  He was made Associate Professor of Medical Physics as the University of Strasburg in 1871,and died on July 11th 1912 at the age of 76.

Today would have been his 181st birthday.

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