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“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 also designed several ophthalmoscopes with small lenses on the edge of a disc, such that rotation would bring up the lens best suited to the eye under examination.
This is an example of Loring’s 15-lens ophthalmoscope with quadrant that, when new, cost $30. The inscription on the box reads "Loring / Ophthalmoscope." That on the inside reads “BALTIMORE OPTICAL CO. / Wholesale Opticians / BALTIMORE, MD.”
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.
James W. Queen & Co., Priced and Illustrated Catalogue of Ophthalmological Instruments (Philadelphia, 1889), p. 42.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Other Terms
Opthalmoscope; Medicine
Associated Name
Baltimore Optical Co.
case: 1 in x 4 1/4 in x 2 1/4 in; 2.54 cm x 10.795 cm x 5.715 cm
scope: 4 1/4 in x 1 1/2 in x 1/4 in; 10.795 cm x 3.81 cm x.635 cm
lens: 1 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in x 1/8 in; 3.81 cm x 3.81 cm x.3175 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Dr. J. Staiman
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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