Catalogue Number: 3672
Cased Priestley Smith ophthalmoscope/retinoscope
Designer/inventor: Joseph Priestley Smith
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c1920
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Description Of Item: Combined ophthalmoscope and retinoscope (non-illuminated) in leather case. Instrument consists of a dark brown plastic or bakelite housing with two rounded ends containing mirrors, one plane and one condensing. The mirrors have a 4 mm clear central sight hole. White 6mm round inset in stem. Printed in white 'MIRROR 25cm' and on reverse '+2D' for lens set within condensing mirror. Stitched brown pouch style case of tan leather. Instrument: 115 x 38 x 8 mm, Case: 124 x 52 x 10 mm.
Historical Significance: Priestley Smith LLD, FRCS, (1845-1933) was a highly regarded ophthalmologist. He was born in Birmingham and was given the name Priestley after the preacher Joseph Priestley (also the discoverer of oxygen), who was driven to the United States when the Birmingham mob burnt his house. Priestley Smith was apprenticed at age 17 to a mechanical engineer. an experience that influenced his life's work in ophthalmology. He entered Queen's Hospital in 1867, where he acted as dresser to Sampson Gamgee. Whilst still a student he volunteered for service during the Franco-German war in 1870 as a dresser. He returned to England and became a student at the London Hospital and acted as clinical assistant at Moorfields. As soon as he had received the diploma of MRCS he was appointed house surgeon to the Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital and in 1874 was elected ophthalmic surgeon to Queen's Hospital, Birmingham. In 1895 he became lecturer in ophthalmology to the Faculty of Medicine in Birmingham, and in 1900 was appointed professor. He retired in 1916 and was awarded the honorary degree of LLD and the title of emeritus professor of ophthalmology. Priestley Smith was known throughout the world for his studies in glaucoma. He was awarded the Jackson Prize for an essay on Glaucoma in 1879. He was an accomplished surgeon and the inventor of a perimeter and a tonometer.
How Acquired: Donated by Pamela Sutton
Date Acquired: october 2018
Location: Archive Office. Cabinet One Drawer 10