Ferdinand Monoyer is the inventor of the Monoyer scale, which is still in use today and worldwide to measure the visual acuity and also of the diopter, this unit of measurement well known to all the wearers of spectacles.
At the origin of many inventions or improvements in the medical field, he developed an ophthalmoscope with three observers.
He was born on 9 May 1836 in Lyon where his father, a military doctor, was in garrison. His paternal family is Tropezian, his maternal Alsatian family. At the age of 5, he lost his father. His widow Jeanne Monoyer returned to Alsace where she remarried with Professor Victor Stoeber, renowned ophthalmologist of the faculty of Strasbourg. This one will adopt the young Ferdinand who will then grow with his two half-sisters, Emilie and Jeanne whom he will marry for the sequel.
Once a bachelor, Ferdinand Monoyer made brilliant studies in the physical sciences and medicine. He will be the first associate of medical physics.
He then traveled to all the biggest universities in Europe (Paris, Berlin, London, Prague, Munich, Vienna, Utrecht …) to follow the courses of the great masters and perfect themselves in the practice of ocular diseases.
He returned to Strasbourg to create and organize medical physics courses, conferences and practical exercises in ophthalmoscopy. It is also until the death of his father Victor Stoeber his substitute in his department of ophthalmological clinic.
The war of 1870 broke out. Monoyer was confined in Strasbourg besieged. The shells rained down on his work-table, on which a great burst was built during the night of August 24, 1870. He cared for the wounded.
The peace signed, the faculty of Strasbourg is transferred to Nancy. After a visit to the universities of Turin, Rome and Naples to study the organization, he joined Nancy where he was in charge of the course and the ophthalmology clinic, the first one that was founded in France by the State and entrusted To a special incumbent. Everything has to be created and organized. There, he also took care of repatriating to Nancy the old Society of Natural Sciences of Strasbourg.
In 1877, he was called to Lyon, at the same time as other eminent professors of medicine (Ollier, Claude Bernard, etc.) to take part in the creation of the new Lyons university and to occupy the chair of medical physics. It creates lessons and organizes laboratories. He sits in Paris as a member of the jury of the competition for physical and chemical sciences.
In 1894, he took part in the Lyon Universal Exhibition as a jury member. He exhibited his publications and about twenty instruments or apparatus of his invention relating to physics and ophthalmology.
On 24 June 1894, together with his colleagues Poncet and Ollier, he gave the first aid to President Sadi Carnot, who had just been the victim of an attack. It is he who cuts the waistcoat, the coat and the great cordon of the legion of honor of the president. On his return home, he notices that the sleeve of his shirt is stained with the blood of Carnot. This shirt is still preserved by our family.