By Nicholas J. Wade
My fIrst come across with the identify of William Charles Wells, over 20 years in the past, was once an indirect connection with his Essay upon unmarried imaginative and prescient that Wheatstone (1838) made in a classical article on binocular imaginative and prescient. The reference was once enigmatic since it said that few had paid awareness to Wells' thought of visible path, whereas doing little to infonn the reader of its novelty. i used to be lucky in having the wonderful facility of the infrequent Books and Manuscripts division of the Library on the college of St. Andrews close to handy, in order that i'll cousult a duplicate of Wells' monograph. even if, i used to be now not conscious of the entire import of its contents until eventually Hiroshi Ono visited Dundee from York collage, Ontario, in 1980. Hiroshi had formerly fonnalised the rules of binocular visible course that Hering (1879) had proposed. He lower back at some point from St. Andrews, having learn Wells' Essay upon unmarried imaginative and prescient, surprised to have came upon that Wells had perfonned comparable experiments and reached related conclusions to Hering. Hiroshi Ono has performed a lot to carry Wells' paintings on binocular unmarried imaginative and prescient to the attention of visible scientists, even if its reception has now not been with no competition. As I learn extra of Wells' paintings on imaginative and prescient I turned conscious of its breadth in addition to its intensity. as well as his essay on binocular unmarried imaginative and prescient, he wrote approximately and carried out experiments on lodging, visible acuity, visible patience, and vertigo.
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Extra info for Destined for Distinguished Oblivion: The Scientific Vision of William Charles Wells (1757–1817)
Even in my earliest childhood. an invincible firmness of mind. When my father. who was a passionate man. beat me for a fault. which I was conscious I had committed. I used to entreat mercy most piteously; but if I believed. that I was in the right. the utmost punishment he could inflict would scarcely ever lil1ii force a tear from me. When I was at Dumfries school. I had a playfellow. the present Mr. - - - . of Edinburgh. He one day called me by some improper name. in consequence of which I beat him.
LEdanus Bourke, was one of the judges of that country, I immediately complained to him of the jailor's usage. which he directly put a stop to, by a severe letter to him, a copy of which was sent to me. Immediately upon my having been confined, I wrote to General Tonyn, acquainting him with my situation, and saying, I should be ready to undergo any suffering, rather than that his flag of truce should be tarnished while in my possession. I received no positive answer, for he was a very dilatory man, till upwards of two months after my application had been made to him.
Figure 5. William Cheselden (1688-1752) on the left (after an engraving in The European Magazine and London Review, 1804) and William Molyneux (1656-1698) on the right. This has become known as Molyneux's Question, and it has stimulated considerable interest and speculation ever since (see von Senden, 1960; Morgan, 1977).