Stereo targets for the American Optical Company stereo-orthopter

Catalogue Number: 738
Stereo targets for the American Optical Company stereo-orthopter
Category: Equipment
Sub-Category: Stereocards (clinical)
Corporation: American Optical Company
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1930s
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Southbridge, Mass
Publisher/Manufacturer: American Optical Company
Description Of Item: Set of 29 pairs of stereo targets printed in black on white circular plastic discs 54 mm diameter and one pair of black plastic discs with white graphic target (4 pairs missing) stored in slots in a black wooden box covered in imitation leather, with hinged lid, with 4 silver metal holders into which the targets could be mounted, with a handle to faciltiate insertion into the stereo-orthopter. Two single fold leaftlets (86 mm W x154 mm D) printed in blue and brown ink on buff card with the words 'Stereo-orthopter. Auxiliary Targets No 1327Y American Optical Company' on the front and descriptions of the targets and their purpose inside. The targets are grouped in 4 series A to D for different purposes and an engraved white plastic strip between the pairs of targets identifies the location in the box of each pair.
Historical Significance: The stereo orthopter was an instrument for giving orthoptic exercises to build ductions, positive and negative fusional convergence, treating amblyopia and suppression. It was designed to provide the same functions as the Worth Black ambyloscope and the Wells Stereoscopic cards in the one instrument. The Museum holds the instruction manual dated 1932 (Cat No 690) but not the instrument. The American Optical Company was established in 1833 and incorporated in 1869. It was located in Southbridge Massachusetts USA to make lenses and spectacles and it quickly grew to be a very large company that also made ophthalmic and photographic equipment. It was, along with Bausch and Lomb, also in the USA, and Clement Clarke and Keeler in the UK, very influential in promoting innovation and the expansion of the scope of practice of optometry.(See the AO Steven phoropter Cat No 550 the AO eikonmeter Cat No 473 as two examples of innovation by this company).
How Acquired: Donated by Alan Isaacs, honorary life member of the College
Date Acquired: April 2008
Condition: Good (some targets missing)
Location: Archive room. West wall. Unit 4 Drawer 4

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