Hand held Maddox rod (groove)

Catalogue Number: 1908
Hand held Maddox rod (groove)
Category: Equipment
Sub-Category: Tests of binocular vision
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1930s
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Description Of Item: Maddox rod mounted in a black metal rim with a 82 mm long black metal handle. Both sides of the rim are inscribed with words giving the examiner an aide memoir as to the interpretation of the responses of the patient for both eso and exo and hyper and hyper phoria. The rim has prism dioptre scale and a white metal rotating rim with an indicator mark for the scale.
Historical Significance: Maddox devised this test to dissociate the eyes for the measurement of heterophoria in 1890. In its original form it was a clear glass cylinder glass cylinder placed in front of one eye to distort a point light source into a line so that the line cannot be fused with the point source of light. It was later developed to have a larger aperture with multiple grooves (cylinders) known also as the Maddox rod or sometimes as the Maddox groove, although this later development was due to Aiken in 1894.The test was originally administered with a red filter in one eye to enhance the dissociation but modern Maddox rods (grooves) are made with red glass. This is a hand held test but they are also common in a form suitable for use in a trial frame and Maddox rods were later incorporated in refractor heads. See books by Maddox Cat No 107, 206, 207, 504. Maddox was an English ophthalmologist (1863 - 1933) who importantly elucidated the nature of binocular fusion and the components of convergence. He invented the Maddox rod and the Maddox wing test, the cheiroscope and the V test for astigmatism. He was ophthalmic surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Bournemouth, and formerly Assistant Ophthalmic Surgeon in the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh and Syme Surgical Fellow at Edinburgh University. See Cat No 554, 952 for examples of the original Maddox rod.
How Acquired: Donated by Alan Isaacs, honorary life member of the College
Date Acquired: Feb 2011
Condition: Good
Location: Archive room. West wall. Unit 5 Drawer 2

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