Brass framed model to illustrate actions of extra-ocular muscles. Two painted wooden globes mounted in brass frame with coloured strings attached to brass weights positioned to show actions of various extra-ocular muscles. Also wooden storage box. Materials: brass, metal, wood, string.

Size: H:22.5cm x W:22.0cm x D:23.0cm

Object Registration



optometry, ophthalmology, ophthalmotrope, eye, eye movements, extra ocular muscles, eye muscles, eye teaching

Historical information

This model was used in lectures in the College from the mid 20th century. An ophthalmotrope is a mechanical model constructed to demonstrate the movements of the eyes and the actions of the various muscles which produce them. The first ophthalmotrope was made by Theodore Reute in 1845 and it was he who gave it the name 'ophthalmotrope'. Frans Donders (1818-1889) became interested in eye movements on reading Reute's work, and his subsequent studies were of physiological interest and also provided the basis for principles underlying the correction of squint. Because of the complexity of the actions and counter actions of the eye muscles, ophthalmologists of the 19th century sought a practical solution with the construction of mechanical models. Reute's second model of 1857 was more sophisticated. Its eyeballs contained lenses and the optical system could be moved backwards and forwards to simulate accommodation. Later ophthalmotropes are known by Landolt, Knapp and Snellen.

Made: (estimated); mid 20th century


This ophthalmotrope is the one that was used as a teaching aid in the College from the mid 20th century.

Last updated 26/08/2012 at 6:58 PM

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