MacKay-Marg tonometer

Catalogue Number: 1052
MacKay-Marg tonometer
Category: Equipment
Sub-Category: Tonometer
Designer/inventor: Stuart MACKAY and Edwin MARG
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1966
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Berkeley California
Publisher/Manufacturer: Berkeley Tonometer Company
Description Of Item: MacKay-Marg tonometer, instrument box 295 mm W x 370 mm D x 120 mm H, black vinyl sides and back section of top, brushed aluminium control panel on top with paper and pen strip recorder. Voltage transformer on back for adaptation to 240 volt supply, foot pedal switch and lead. Probe missing.
Historical Significance: This instrument was donated to the Victorian College of Optometry in 1966 for use in the VCO clinic. It was not used for long since optometrists in Victoria obtained legal access to topical anaestehetics in the 1980s and were using them in the late 1960s despite the legal prohhibition. In addition hand held (Perkins) applanation tonometry replaced the Schiotz tonometer that had been used by optometrists in Victoria since the early 1960s diminishing the value of this applanation tonometer. This instrument is an electronic recording applanation tonometer that is sensitive enough that the touch on the cornea does not necessitate corneal anaesthesia. It was devised because at the time optometrists in the USA were not legally able to use corneal anaesthetics and the idea of a tonomerter that did not require corneal anaesthesia was attractive. It was invented by R. Stuart Mackay and Elwin Marg [See R.S. Mackay, E. Marg. Fast, Automatic Ocular Pressure Measurement Based on an Exact Theory Acta Ophthalmologica 37/5, 495-507, 1959. and R.S. Mackay, E. Marg, and R.Oechsli Automatic Tonometer with Exact Theory: Various Biological Applications. Science 131/3412, 1668-1669, 1960.] Marg (1918-) was an optometrist (Berkeley California 1940) who had really wanted to be an electrical engineer. He completed a PhD in Physiological Optics at Berkeley in 1950 and pursued an academic career at Berkeley becoming a full professor in 1962. He researched visual neurophysiology, published widely, but never achieved the recognition his work deserved. See http://brain.berkeley.edu/marg/index.html
How Acquired: Donated by Lions International Region 4 District 201F to the Victorian College of Optometry for use it its clinic
Date Acquired: 1966
Condition: Good. Probe missing
Location: Archive room. East wall Unit 3 Cupboard

Search the archive:

Author or Inventor:
Catalogue #
Name of Donor