Post image for Museum of Vision — Dedicated to preserving ophthalmic history

Museum of Vision — Dedicated to preserving ophthalmic history

in FREE and Budget, Museums

Courtesy of the Museum of Vision and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. © All rights reserved.

You may need to unleash your inner ophthalmologist to fully appreciate this unique museum, established in 1980 under the auspices of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Exhibits change annually to accommodate the museum’s collection of 38,000 items of ophthalmic history, including vision aids, instruments, art, furniture, stamps, coins, medals, memorabilia, literature, rare books, pharmaceuticals, and archival materials.

My favorite piece in the collection is a folding lorgnette (eyeglasses) from 1880 with a handle that also acts as an ear trumpet. It’s an ingeniously convenient combination for the user who requires assistance with both hearing and sight. (OK, I didn’t actually view all 38,000 pieces in the collection, but I know this is my favorite.)

Where: 655 Beach Street, San Francisco

When: Mon – Fri (9-5). Closed weekends and holidays. Appointments are recommended; call ahead to assure staff availability: (415) 561-8502

How much: FREE

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Allison Neves April 15, 2011 at 10:25 am

To visit the web site and view the Museum’s online exhibits, visit


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