Edridge-Green lantern test

Catalogue Number: 430
Edridge-Green lantern test
Category: Equipment
Sub-Category: Colour Vision Test
Designer/inventor: EDRIDGE-GREEN Frederick William
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c 1960
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: London
Publisher/Manufacturer: Rayner
Description Of Item: Instrument for testing colour vision, metal finished in black crackle. comprising a bowl containing an incandescent electric lamp with 5 rotating discs in front of the bowl, each with a short handle. The discs hold colour filters, apertures of different size and frosted and ribbed glasses to simulate fog and rain etc. The patient views the colours displayed in the single aperture in the upper half of the front circular plate. There is a manufacturers plate on the instrument foot which reads 'Edridge-Green Lantern Cat no 161 Rayner London.'
Historical Significance: Dr Edridge-Green (1863-1953) was an ophthalmologist who wrote on colour vision and colour blindness, although his views were more driven by a sense of self-importance than matters of lasting significance (see Parsons JH Dr Edridge-Green's' Theories of Vision. Br J Ophthalmol 1920;4359-367). He devised his lantern test in 1891, when he was an advisor to the British Board of Trade, which at the time was struggling to get its colour vision testing of seafarers right. (See Cole BL and Vingrys AJ Lantern tests of color vision Amer J Optom Physiol Optics 1982;59:346-374). (See Cat 571). He devised it in the expectation that it would be adopted by the Board of Trade. It was not, and the Board of Trade decided to use the Holmgren Wool Test and later, in 1913, its own lantern test, much to Edridge-Green's chagrin, who expressed his displeasure in angry exchanges in Brit Med J in 1912 and 1914. This test was adopted however by the Royal Navy, the US Navy and several railway authorities. The original version of his test looked very different from this version which dates from the 1910s. The procedures for the test and how its results should be interpreted were never well defined (Edridge Green said he tested with it until he was certain of his diagnosis). It was superseded by the Board of Trade test of 1913, which became the Holmes Wright Type B lantern test in 1974. The Farnsworth lantern of 1946 became the favoured test in the USA. This design of the test was developed before 1911 and was originally manufactured by Reiner and Keeler Co. See Fig 3 and 4 on pages 54 and 55 of Edridge-Green's book The Hunterian lectures on colour-vision and colour-blindness. London; Kegan Paul Trench and Co 1911 Kett Museum Cat No 182
How Acquired: Purchased by VCO
Date Acquired: 1960s
Condition: Good: some chipping of black crackle enamel
Location: Archive room. West wall. Unit 1 Overhead display

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