“In the whole history of medicine there is no more beautiful episode than the invention of the ophthalmoscope, and physiology has few greater triumphs.” So wrote Edward Greely Loring (1837-1888), on the first page of his Textbook of Ophthalmology (New York, 1886).

Loring graduated from the Harvard Medical School and spent a brief stint at the Massachusetts Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary before becoming an ophthalmologist in New York City. He introduced his first ophthalmoscope to the American Ophthalmological Society in 1869, noting that it could be had from H. W. Hunter, a local optician. A modification of Helmholtz’s instrument, this had several small lenses on the edge of a disc behind the mirror that could be rotated by the forefinger to bring the lens best suited to the refraction of the eye under examination. A second modification, with more lenses, which followed a few years later, cost $30.

An inscription on the lid of this box reads “Loring / Ophthalmoscope.” That on the inside reads “MAX WOCHER & SON / SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS / TRUSSES, DEFORMITY APPARATUS, ETC. / 21 & 23 W. Sixth St., CINCINNATI.”

Ref: Edward G. Loring, “Determination of the Optical Condition of the Eye,” American Journal of the Medical Sciences 118 (1870): 323-348.

Ed. G. Loring, “A New Modification of the Ophthalmoscope,” American Journal of the Medical Sciences 67 (1874): 133-135.

Edward G. Loring, A Textbook on Ophthalmology (1886; 2nd Vol., 1891).

User: John King, M.D.Maker: Max Wocher & Son

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Ohio, Cincinnati

Associated Subject: Ophthalmology


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine, Health & Medicine


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Accession 83998 (1924); Gift of Dr. T. T. Sidener (through John Uri Lloyd)

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MG.M-02047Catalog Number: M-02047Accession Number: 83998

Object Name: OphthalmoscopeophthalmoscopeOther Terms: Ophthalmoscope; Medicine

Measurements: case: 3/4 in x 4 3/8 in x 2 1/4 in; 1.905 cm x 11.1125 cm x 5.715 cmlens: 1 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in x 1/8 in; 3.81 cm x 3.81 cm x .3175 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-58ef-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_727938

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