Routine Refraction with the British Refracting Unit

Catalogue Number: 3246
Routine Refraction with the British Refracting Unit
Category: Book
Sub-Category: Manual, for instruments etc
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c 1930
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: London
Publisher/Manufacturer: Stearman Optical Co Ltd
Description Of Item: Instruction manual for the use of the British Refracting Unit. Original pale green papered board cover, 147 x 227 mm, 35 pages plus a one page index, 22 black and white photographs of the refractor. Rubber stamp for Culver Southern Optical Co, Coalbrook Road, Kemp Town, Brighton on page following the title page. Slipped in is a 8 page promotional leaflet printed in red and black for the Stearman Optical Company Ltd and the British Refracting Unit that also advertises pantograph stands and arms for the refractor, an instrument tray, a Pulzone stool and a Pulzone hydraulic chair.
Historical Significance: Refractor heads (also known as phoropters in the USA and refracting units in the UK) were first devised between 1917 and 1940 to make refraction quicker than when a trial lens set and trial frame were used and they also held devices such as Maddox rod and Risley prisms for the measurement of heterophoria. In fact the first phorometers were devised for this latter purpose early in the 20th C. (See Cat no 175, 351 and 550). Spherical and cylindrical lenses on rotary discs were added later. The British Refracting Unit was first made about 1930. Two British Refractor units are held in the Kett Museum (Cat no. 1123, 1139). A similar brochure for the British Refracting Unit by the same author is at Cat no. 780
How Acquired: Donated by Optometry Australia
Date Acquired: Jan 2017
Condition: Excellent
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 7

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