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Ophthalmologist’s hydraulic chair and accessories, 1925-1935

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You might have seen something like this had you visited an opticians or ophthalmologist in the 1920s. The hydraulic chair was made by optical instrument manufacturer Bausch and Lomb. It includes accessories for use during an eye examination. These include an ophthalmoscope for looking inside the eye and a retinoscope for shining light into the patient’s inner eye to assess the light sensitive surface called the retina. It also has a refractor. This optical instrument helps determine whether spectacles are required.

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    Techniques and Technologies:


    Glossary: ophthalmology

    The branch of medicine dealing with the diseases and surgery of the visual pathways (usually the eyes or the brain).

    Glossary: ophthalmoscope

    An instrument for viewing the interior of the eye, particularly the retina. Light is shone into the eye via a mirror (usually concave) and then examined with or without the aid of a lens. Invented by by Hermann Von Helmholtz in 1850

    Glossary: ophthalmic instrument

    An instrument used in eye surgery.

    Glossary: refractometry

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