Catalogue Number: 1471
Category: Equipment
Sub-Category: Equipment, teaching
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c 1920
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Description Of Item: Brass framed model to illustrate actions of extra-ocular muscles. Two painted wooden globes mounted in brass frame with coloured strings attached to brass weights positioned to show actions of various extra-ocular muscles. Materials: brass, metal, wqqd, string. H: 22.5cm x W:22.0cm x D: 23.0cm. Also wooden storage box (In Archive Room, Cupboard 4)
Historical Significance: This model was used in lectures in the Victorian College of Optometry from the mid 20th century. An ophthalmotrope is a mechanical model constructed to demonstrate the movements of the eye and the action of the various muscles which produce them. The first ophthalmotrope was made by Theodore Ruete in 1845 and it was he who gave it the name 'ophthalmotrope'. Franciscus Donders (1818-1889) became interested in eye movements on reading Reute's work, and his subsequent studies were of physiological interest and also provided the basis for principles underlying the correction of squint. There followed several 'laws' relating to muscle interaction, the best known being Donder's Law and Listing's Law. Because of the complexity of the actions and counter actions of the eye muscles, ophthalmologists of the 19th century sought a practical solution with the construction of mechanical models. Reute's second model of 1857 was more sophisticated and demonstrated both the movements of the eye and the action of the ocular muscles. In this model, the eyeballs contained lenses and the optical system could be moved backwards and forwards to simulate accommodation. Later ophthalmotropes are known by Landolt, Knapp and Snellen. Ref: Keeler, R et al, Brit J Ophth 2009;93:572
Condition: Very good
Location: Archive room. West wall. Unit 3 Overhead display

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