Sight-testing and developing apparatus, "The Ocular Developer", Home Model, invented by R. Brooks Simpkins, with case, made by The Ocular Apparataus Co., Birmingham, 1930-1933, Guildhall Buildings, Navigation Street
Invented by Robert Brooks Simpkins in the 1930s, ‘The Ocular Developer’ is an unusual device which promised to cure long sightedness, short sightedness, astigmatisms, old-age sight and squints. The Ocular Sight Company, who manufactured the apparatus, claimed each condition was caused by lazy or irregular movements of the eye muscles and could be cured by re-training these muscles.
This picture shows the set up of the equipment to treat long and short sight by exercising the eye muscles. If the user could see the test plate clearly at 16 inches (40.6 cm), then he or she was deemed to have perfect vision. If the plate had to be moved closer, then the user had long sight; further away, and he or she must be short sighted. This model cost £8 19 shillings and 6 pence. ‘The Ocular Developer’ could, it was hoped, render glasses useless, removing the need for trips to the optician. It was also claimed to help in the treatment of cataracts and glaucoma. In this it clearly failed.