TitleCollection of William Porterfield
DescriptionPorterfield was born in Ayrshire in 1696. He studied in Glasgow, Leiden and Rheims where he graduated MD in 1717. In June 1721 he became a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, was elected a fellow the following year and served as President 1748-1750. In 1723, at the invitation of the Town Council, the fellows of the College put his name forward to be professor of physiology, materia medica and physic and the practice of medicine. However, he followed the example set by Pitcairne and Sibbald before him and never actually taught. His main claim to fame is having published 'A Treatise on the Eye: the manner and phenomena of vision' in 1759 which was far ahead of any other work available in English at that time although he never practised clinical ophthalmology. He was also the first to describe the 'phantom limb' phenomena having had a leg amputated in his youth. He did not, however, coin the phrase.
[Source: Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 2010 40/2]

Contents: 'A Hydrophobia from the bite of a Mad Dog', c1734
Extent1 volume
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