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Frithiof Holmgren

Alarik Frithiof Holmgren, M.D.

Alarik Frithiof Holmgren ( October 22, 1831 – August 14, 1897) was a Swedish physician, physiologist and professor at Upsala University. He was most noted for his research of color blindness. He was also a vocal opponent of vivisection, and particularly the use of curare to immobilize subjects so they appeared peaceful while feeling great pain.[1]

Holmgren's colored wool test for color blindness


Holmgren was born in Östergötland, Sweden. From 1852 he served as a medial practitioner including during the cholera pandemic in Norrköping and Söderköping. He graduated as a Medical Doctor from Uppsala University in 1861. He joined the faculty of Uppsala University and in 1864, he was being appointed professor of physiology. He researched color blindness and his most notable work was about color blindness in relation to rail and sea transport. His research took him to London, Berlin, Vienna and Paris. He devised a standardized test for color blindness in 1874. Following a railway crash at Lagerlunda in 1875, he advocated the need to preclude people with defective color vision from railway employment. This established the now standard practice of excluded color blind individuals from employment in certain sectors.[2] [3]

Personal life

Holmgren was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences from 1880. In 1869, he was married to the suffragist Ann-Margret Holmgren (1850–1940). They were the parents of eight children. Both he and his wife were buried at Uppsala old cemetery. [4] [5]

See also


  1. ^ Leif Wallentinsson (February 2017). "Alarik Frithiof Holmgren, 1831-1897". Kulturarv Östergötland. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  2. ^ Algis J. Vingrys; Barry L. Cole Origins of Colour Vision Standards within the Transport Industry Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, October 1986 Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 369-375, 198
  3. ^ Ragnar Granit. "A Frithiof Holmgren". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Marta & Erik Ronne. "Ett professorspar före sin tid". Archived from the original on March 27, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  5. ^ "Obituary: Alarik Frithiof Holmgren, M.D." British Medical Journal. 2 (1916): 748. 1897. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.1916.748. PMC 2407621.

External links