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Dyer, Erza (1836–1887).

Ezra Dyer was born in Boston, October 17, 1836, graduated at Harvard in 1857, and after studying under Jeffries Wyman (q. v.), Morril Wyman (q. v.) and John Ware (q. v), entered the Medical School and graduated in 1859. He then studied in Dublin, Bonn, and Vienna, where, under Arlt, his interest in ophthalmic surgery was awakened, and he determined to devote himself to this specialty. With a letter from Arlt to Von Graefe he went on to Berlin in the fall of 1860. Having spent a most profitable winter semester with Von Graefe, Dyer went to London, spent several months at the Moorfields Hospital, then to Paris to study under Desmarres and Sichel, and finally to Utrecht to visit Donders and Snellen. He returned to Philadelphia in the winter of 1861. During the war he was given charge of all eye and ear cases in the Philadelphia army hospitals.

In 1864 he was one of the founders of the American Ophthalmological Society, and later was appointed surgeon at Wills Eye Hospital, holding the position as long as he remained in the city. Dyer perfected a plan of using the eyes for near work in daily progressive periods of time to overcome asthenopia after long illness, the method being known as "Dyerizing." This was first described in a paper entitled "Asthenopia not connected with Hypermetropia," read before the American Ophthalmological Society in 1865. Again he wrote on this subject in 1876, in a paper read before the International Congress. In 1884 he invented an ingenious and beautiful perimeter. In 1873 he left Philadelphia on account of the health of a member of his family, gave up a large practice, and took up his abode in Pittsburg, where he soon acquired an enviable reputation. In 1879 and again in 1880 he fell and suffered serious fractures from which he never wholly recovered. He removed in 1883 to Newport, Rhode Island, and died February 9, 1887.

Unswerving integrity, unselfish and enduring loyalty, a child-like faith in those he loved, these were among the characteristics of Ezra Dyer.

Trans. Amer. Ophth. Soc., 1885–7, vol. iv. Hasket Derby. Portrait.
New York Med. Jour., 1887, vol. xlv.