Advertisement (Adapted for the WWW by the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices)

Get Rid of the Spectacle Nuisance

Regain Your Eye Freedom


The Natural Eyesight System
Tells You How

No Doctoring-No Drugs-No Danger
Nothing to Wear and Nothing to Fear

Natural Eye Normalizer, ca. 1930's (9K)


The Natural Eye Normalizer is the most important invention which makes it practical for you and your family to have and enjoy the complete revolutionary NATURAL EYESIGHT SYSTEM in the privacy of your own home.  It administers a most effective treatment for relaxing tense eyes, resting tired eyes and relieving strained eyes. Operated by a simple "Twist of the Wrist," it can be used with perfect safety by everyone.

Your Eyes Were Made to See With

Take Off Your Eye Crutches and Enjoy Stronger Eyes
See the Way Nature Intended You to See

This 1930's ad was produced by the Natural Eyesight Institute manufacturer of the Natural Eye Normalizer, a metal device finished in chrome with rubber gaskets fitting the eyes.  The device came with five booklets describing treatments and containing logs to record eye excercises.  How did it work? It didn't!

The "patient" applied the device to the eyes shutting out all light. The handle on the side of the device allows the gaskets to rotate slightly to massage the eyelids.  In theory, the device was supposed to relax the eyes thereby eliminating all vision problems.  The device had no effect on vision problems.

This device is one of many which sought to cash in on the theory promoted by William Horatio Bates, M.D. who published The Cure of Imperfect Eyesight by Treatment Without Glasses in 1920. Dr. Bates wrongly suggested that relaxation would cure vision problems.  Today, many of his followers have altered his theory by suggesting that eye exercise will cure vision problems (and there is a kernel of truth in this for eye exercise is recommended for conditions like lazy eye and crossed eyes).  In mystical ways, Bates followers suggest practicing how and where to focus, rotating eyes from left to right and back again to increase peripheral vision and more.   For almost all vision problems, eye exercise has no effect.  Claims that the Bates theory and exercise may 'eliminate the need for glasses and contacts' are false.  

These claims are made today by sellers of pinhole eyeglasses and expensive consultants who lead vision therapy 'classes.' "It is difficult to understand the widespread popularity of the Bates System unless one considers that its followers make up what is essentially a cult. Its practitioners are faith healers who appeal to the gullible, the neurotic, the highly emotional, and the psychosomatic…. ‘Perfect sight without glasses’ is an empty promise," say Russell S. Worrall, O.D. and Jacob Nevyas, Ph.D. (cited by George Nava True II). True relates

"In 1956, Dr. Philip Pollack, a Manhattan optometrist, wrote The Truth About Eye Exercises which exposed the flaws in the Bates System. Alas, Pollack’s book was soon forgotten while the Bates System lives on."

See Can Eye Exercises Improve Vision? by George Nava True II.

Urbane Barrett, owner of the Natural Eyesight Institute, was convicted of mail fraud in 1937 - a year before the U. S. Food and Drug Administration was authorized to regulate medical devices.

Logo: Natural Eye Systems, ca. 1930's (6K)



Advertisement and Natural Eyesight System logo from the American Medical Association's Historical Health Fraud & Alternative Medicine Collection.

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Museum of Questionable Medical Devices
updated 1/16/2014