This is a review of the history of visual science starting with the Greeks, especially with the Greek school in Alexandria. After fall of the Roman Empire progress occurred in Arabic centers of learning in Baghdad, Cairo, and Spain. In the 12th century centers of learning sprang up in Europe. In the 17th century, Kepler discovered how images are formed in the eye. After that, knowledge of the visual system progressed rapidly. The major factors in this progress are reviewed, including the discovery of how to draw in perspective, the growth of anatomy, the advent of precise instruments, neuroscience, and psychophysical methods. Special attention is paid to the discovery of the mechanism of stereoscopic vision. Finally, the history of three-dimensional display systems is reviewed.
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