Catalogue Number: 2891
Designer/inventor: SCHIOTZ, Hjalmar August
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c 1950
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Description Of Item: Schiotz indentation tonometer in black leatherette case, 170 x 85 x 30 mm, lined with light brown velvet, hinged lid with a padded insert in lid covered with light green material. Behind the insert is a single sheet displaying a graph for conversion of scale readings on the tonometer to mmHg intra-ocular pressure for the different weights that are held in recesses in the case lining. (One missing). The scale is cream plastic with numberless scale markers. There are no identifications on the case.
Historical Significance: This tonometer was invented by Hjalmar August Schi?tz in 1905 and was the standard tonometer for over 50 years, until it was superseded by the applanation tonometer devised by Hans Goldmann (1899-1991) in 1954. This instrument is an early version of the Schiotz tonometer from the 1950s or earlier. The newer versions are designated 'Improved' (Cat Nos.0992, 2004, 2103, 2888, 2009) and differ from this one. This one has a single support for the scale rather than two, the scale is not tilted, the pointer is not coloured red and there is no :check zero' accessory as is the case for the improved models of the 1960s and 1970s. A similar older model is Cat No. 2103, which has a documented date in 1955. The improved models are dated on their calibration certificates with dates from 1964 to 1976.Schiotz (1850-1927) was born in Stavanger, Norway. He graduated in Medicine in 1877 in Khristiania. He studied ophthalmology in Vienna, where he became a friend of Ernst Fuchs (1851-1930), and in Paris, where he was employed as "directeur adjoint" in the ophthalmologic laboratory at the Sorbonne under Louis ?mile Javal. They developed the ophthalmometer named for them in 1880. In 1881 he became an assistant at the surgical department of the Rikshospitalet in Kristiania and he established a private practice as an eye specialist. He distinguished himself in his work to introduce asepsis in Norway. He was appointed professor of medicine with the obligation to teach eye medicine in 1901. Schi?tz demonstrated his tonometer in The Norwegian Medical Society (Det norske medicinske Selskab) in 1905 and for the next half century the Schi?tz tonometer was generally accepted as a reliable means of measuring intra-ocular pressure. H. A. Schi?tz: Et nyt tonometer, tonometri. Norsk Magazin for L?gevidenskaben, Kristiania, 1905, 5th series, volume 3: 597-622. H. A. Schi?tz: Archiv fur Augenheilkunde, Wiesbaden,1905: 401-424.
How Acquired: Donated by Colin Dundon, antique ophthalmic collector, Williamstown
Date Acquired: May 2016
Condition: Good except a weight is missing and lid insert is stained
Location: Archive room. East wall Unit 3 Cupboard