“The Early History of Moorfields Eye Hospital”

Event Start Date:
1 December, 2016
Event End Date:
1 December, 2016
Event Venue:
The Royal College of Physicians

Moorfields Eye Hospital , originally known as The London Dispensary for Curing Diseases of the Eye and Ear when it was founded in 1805, is the oldest eye hospital in the world.

The lecture will cover its 143 years as a voluntary hospital starting in Charterhouse Square before the move to the city near Finsbury Circus in 1821 and finally City Road in 1898.

It will mention some of the great names in ophthalmology such as Sir William Bowman and the influence the hospital had on world ophthalmology.

In 1947 an amalgamation took place between Moorfields, the Royal Westminster Hospital and the Central London Hospital. In the following year, 1948, the NHS was established and the hospital’s reliance on voluntary contributions ended.

Presented by Richard Keeler
After leaving Oxford, without a degree but with a blue in athletics, Richard Keeler joined the family business of Keeler Ltd.
He qualified as a dispensing optician but decided that a career in ophthalmic instruments was more attractive.
He spent 38 years in the company until retirement in 1997. During these years he travelled throughout the UK and overseas promoting the company’s ophthalmic products.
He became Managing Director of the group of companies in 1970 and spent an increasing amount of time on the development of new products including one of the first microscopes for ophthalmology and a non-contact tonometer for measuring intra-ocular pressure.
In 1993 Richard Keeler was made an Honorary Fellow of the College of Ophthalmologists which has subsequently been given the Royal assent.
On retiring he was made Honorary Curator at the College and set up an ophthalmic museum and antiquarian library. This was followed by being made Honorary Archivist for the Moorfields Alumni Association.