Ophthalmic electromagnet, United Kingdom, c. 1940

Made:
1935-1945 in United Kingdom
maker:
Unknown

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Electromagnet for extraction of metal from the eye, steel, brass and wood, probably British, c. 1940

This special electromagnet was used to attract any metal fragments that had become lodged in the eye, bringing them to the surface and making them easier to remove surgically. Metal may have got into the eye by accident, either at work or in the home, although given that this device was probably made in 1940 it is likely to have been used to treat those injured by wartime bombing.

Machines like this were invented around the 1870s and were introduced into hospitals in the 1900s. This instrument was used at the London Hospital, Whitechapel, now known as The Royal London Hospital after being granted a royal charter in 1990.

Details

Category:
Ophthalmology
Object Number:
1979-610
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), complete, steel (metal), woo and wood (unidentified)
Measurements:
overall (head): 275 mm,
overall (base): 580 mm, 122 kg
type:
electromagnet
taxonomy:
credit:
London Hospital (Whitechapel)