Henry Clay Angell 1829 – 1911

angellHenry Clay Angell 1829 – 1911

Angell graduated from Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1852 and like most ambitious doctors of the time, traveled to Europe to complete his studies, first at the General Hospital connected with the University of Vienna, and then at the Leopold Stadt Homeopathic Hospital, also in Vienna.

These postgraduate studies lasted a year after which he returned to Massachusetts and eventually settled in Boston. However, he returned to Europe in 1861 for a three and a half year sabbatical in ophthalmology, mostly under the tutelage of Professors Arlt and Jaeger in Vienna, but also studying for about three months with Professor Von Graefe in Berlin.

Angell wrote A Treatise On The Diseases Of The Eye (for students) (for general practitioners)a work written especially for homeopaths:

This fourth is a revised and illustrated edition of Angell’s most important work, Diseases of the Eye, which was first published in 1870 and became the standard on the subject for homeopaths, appearing in multiple editions and printings.

Of particular interest are the photographic plates attributed to Jaeger and especially von Helmholtz who invented the ophthalmoscope in 1851. Attempts at photographing the fundus were made as early as 1863 by Henry D. Noyes in New York and Liebrecht in Berlin, but a commercially viable photographic ophthalmoscope first came available with Nordeson’s invention in 1925.

Angell was also an art collector and a painter of some accomplishment.

Angell also wrote Records of William M. Hunt, How to Take Care of Our Eyes: With Advice to Parents and Teachers, The sight, and how to preserve it, Our Pictures and about Them. Angell is mentioned in Who Was Who in America, Who’s who in Pennsylvania, Ophthalmic Record, Proceedings of the Bostonian Society, Annual Meeting, The New International Year Book, Biographical Index of the Graduates of the Homoeopathic Medical College, Catalogue of the Alpha Delta Phi Society, Annual Report of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Catalogue of European and American Paintings and Sculpture, the New England Medical Gazette and the Pacific Coast Journal of Homeopathy. Angell edited The American Library Annual: Including Index to Dates of Current Events

Angell’s library The Henry C. and Martha B. Angell Collection is held at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

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