This is a biography of Allvar Gullstrand (1862-1930) on the occasion of the centennial of his 1911 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. We reviewed pertinent literature and we did archival studies at the Uppsala University Library and the Regional State Archives at Lund as well as the Nobel Archives at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. Allvar Gullstrand was a brilliant scientist with an exceptional personality. He gave mathematical descriptions of the dioptric system of the human eye with unprecedented accuracy, and he invented and designed ophthalmological instruments of far-reaching importance. The two most valuable ones are the slit lamp and the reflexless ophthalmoscope. Both are in everyday use by any ophthalmologist in the world. Allvar Gullstrand is so far the only ophthalmologist who has been given a Nobel Prize for work in ophthalmology, and he deserved it well.
© 2011 The Authors. Acta Ophthalmologica © 2011 Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation.