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Eye Model

Engineering Psychology

This instrument is a model of an eye with a moveable fabric eye lid mounted on a brown wooden base. It consists of several working parts attached to springs and strings that can be used to move the eyeball. The eyeball floats in the socket and is supported by two metal hoops. Sections of the eye ball can be detached with a front and back lid. These openings are attached to the eyeball through metal hinges.

Accession Number: 2014.ep.17

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Plastic, Wood, Steel.


Manufacture’s plaque on base:
“Clay Adams INC
141 E. 25th St., New York
Models – Charts – Skeletons
Made in Japan”

Dimensions (cm): Height = 25.5, Width = 24, Length = 36


This model was used as a teaching aid. The assumed function of this model is based on the location of the strings. Pulling the strings would demonstrate the activation and contraction of muscles that control movement of the eye.


The instrument is good condition. There is a crack in the wooden base. The eye model is missing two or more coin labels. Also, a few of the strings appear to be no longer attached to the appropriate locations. This may diminish the functioning of the model.

Associated Instruments: 2011.psy.34, 2011.psy.67, 2011.psy.29


Clay Adams Inc, New York, U.S.A. The object was made in Japan. In 1964 , the Becton, Dickinson and Company acquired and relocated Clay Adams to Parsippany, New Jersey.

Date of Manufacture: 1930s-1960s


The instrument was originally purchased at an unknown date by (the late) Professor Emeritus Patrick Foley, who was the original Human Factors professor at UofT. In October 2012, the eye model was donated to UTSIC by Professor Paul Milgram at Engineering Psychology.

Additional Information and References:

Clay-Adams INC. Human Anatomy: Models, Charts, Skeletons, Obstetrical Manikins. 1938. New York.

Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments: Harvard University. Clay Adams INC. Accessed February 15, 2014.,/is/,/6446/,/false/,/true&style=single&searchdesc=Clay-Adams+Company,+Inc

Kenshen, Jeff and Sylvie Perrier. New Bridges: Sources, Methods,and Interdisciplinarity. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press (2005).

Historical Notes:

This model is an example of the transition in the production of scientific models from wax and ivory to more durable materials. This shift made models a new alternative teaching aid as they were more resilient and suited for casual handling whereas ivory was heavy and wax could melt (Kenshen and Perrier, 32).


  • Donated to UTSIC