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Ophthalmoscope (Keeler Instruments)


The Keeler Ophthalmoscope consists of a black plastic head with a small lens system, which the user looks through, and a hole through which the built-in light shines. It also contains a black wheel as part of the head which is used to adjust the magnification of the lenses. There is a white switch near the top of the silver handle. The handle comes apart and holds several batteries, possibly D-cell sized. The metal case appears to be fake leather, burgundy in colour. There is a hole in the case for an ophthalmoscope attachment.

Accession Number: 2009.ihpst.2

Alternative Name: Keeler Ophthalmoscope

Primary Materials:

Instrument: Metal, Plastic, glass; Case: fake leather and felt.


“Keeler England” written on the inside of the case. Other markings inside the case, but illegible. Black top of ophthalmoscope reads “Keeler Instruments England”. “Keeler made in England” is written on one side, as well as a plus and minus sign, and “popular” written on the bottom. On the other side, “Keeler” and “64375” are written.

Dimensions (cm): Length = 23.5, Diameter = 3.5


The opthalmoscope is used to examine the eye. It is essentially the combination of a light, shone into a patient’s eye to illuminate the retina, attached to a magnifying glass to view the eye better. Since its invention by Hermann von Helmholtz in 1850 (although it was also independently developed by Charles Babbage several years earlier), the ophthalmoscope has become a staple of modern medicine.


Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Keeler Instruments, England

Date of Manufacture: c.1970


The particular provenance of this ophthalmoscope is uncertain – whether it was used at the University of Toronto or donated is unknown, although the latter is quite probable.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes:

  • Donated to UTSIC