Spirit Burner (for disinfection of indentation tonometers)

Catalogue Number: 1051
Spirit Burner (for disinfection of indentation tonometers)
Category: Equipment
Sub-Category: Equipment, other clinical
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c1960
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Britain
Description Of Item: Glass spirit burner & cover used for clinical disinfection of metal instruments, specifically Schiotz tonometers. Glass, cotton, brass. Base imprinted: 'BRITISH MADE PORTIA'. H: 9.0 cm x W: 6.9 cm
Historical Significance: Schiotz tonometry was undertaken by optometrists in Australia from about 1960 until applanation tonometers, especially the hand held applanation tonometers such as the Perkins, were adopted. Optometrists in Australia did not do tonometry prior to the mid 1950s because a (then) legal prohibition in the Opticians Act on the use of drugs for the measurement of the powers of the eye and because corneal anaesthetics were controlled drugs that required a medical prescription. Optometrists were also fearful of the posibility of corneal damage from tonometry. In the mid 1950s several optometrists began to do tonometry. They were zealous in disinfection of tonometers because of the fear of corneal infection and used a flame to sterilise their Schiotz tonometers. This spirit burner was used to sterilise Schiotz tonometers.
How Acquired: Donated by Michael Aitken, honorary archivist
Date Acquired: Nov 2008
Condition: Good
Location: Archive room. East wall Unit 3 Cupboard

Search the archive:

Author or Inventor:
Catalogue #
Name of Donor