Morton's Ophthalmoscope

Catalogue Number: 3226
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: England
Description Of Item: Cased example of Morton's ophthalmoscope imprinted 'MORTON'S OPHTHALMOSCOPE/ W WOOD & Co/ MELBOURNE'. Black metal head, brass adjusting wheel. 2 mirrors to allow direct & indirect ophthalmoscopy but one mirror is loose as mount screws missing. Non illuminated. Wheels of lenses to correct focus of patient &/or examiner. Black metal handle screws off for compact storage & includes colour dot test on the end. Missing condensing lens. Leatherette case, green velvet lined. Dimensions: Head: L 11.7 cm x W 3.3 cm Full length inc handle 20.0 cm Case: L 11.7 cm x W 6.0 cm D 2.7 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.
How Acquired: Donated by Estate of William Cooper, via Peter Lewis
Date Acquired: Sep 2016
Condition: Case: fair. Instrument good but one loose mirror
Location: Archive Office. Cabinet One Drawer 8

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