Morton's ophthalmoscope

Catalogue Number: 2834
Morton's ophthalmoscope
Category: Equipment
Sub-Category: Ophthalmoscope
Designer/inventor: Andrew Stanford MORTON
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c1895
Time Period: 19th C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: London, England
Publisher/Manufacturer: Mayer & Meltzer
Description Of Item: Morton's ophthalmoscope imprinted 'MORTON'S OPHTHALMOSCOPE/ MAYER & MELTZER/ LONDON'. Black metal head, brass adjusting wheel. 2 mirrors to allow direct & indirect ophthalmoscopy; one missing. Non illuminated. Wheels of lenses to correct focus of patient &/or examiner. Black metal handle screws off for compact storage but missing colour dot test on end. No case or condensing lens. Head: L 12.0 cm x W 3.3 cm. Full length inc handle 20.0 cm.
Historical Significance: Helmholtz was the first to observe the human fundus with his Augenspiegel in 1851. Morton's ophthalmoscope was in the Curry and Paxton price list in London in 1883. Morton described his model to the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom in January 1885. Morton used the lens arrangement that another ophthalmologist, John Couper, had reported in 1883. In 1882 George Lindsay Johnson of London introduced an ophthalmoscope with two mirrors fixed to a plate that could be rotated around a central pivot. In this way each mirror could be positioned quickly behind the sight hole with the smaller 3-inch focal length mirror rotatable around itself for left or right positioning. Later variations of this model featured three or four mirrors, in pairs back-to-back. Andrew Stanford Morton also of London adopted this system and popularised the non-illuminous and self-illuminated ophthalmoscopes bearing his name for over 40 years, but it was not so much the mirror arrangement as the elongated track of lenses for which he is best known.
Condition: Good but missing one mirror
Location: Archive Office. Cabinet One Drawer 9

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