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Ideal Sight Restorer, New York, United States, 1901-1930

Made by the Ideal Company, this unusual device – an eye massager – promised to cure imperfect vision and eye diseases such as cataracts which cause blindness. The rubber cups are placed on closed eyelids and the rubber circle in the middle squeezed. This produced suction every time the circle was pressed, creating a massaging effect. It was invented by Charles A Tyrrell who owned The Ideal Company. Tyrrell was a masseur who qualified as a doctor in 1900. He was condemned by the medical establishment as a quack and a fake for producing products with dubious medical credentials such as the Ideal Sight Restorer.

Object number:

A640123

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Glossary:

Glossary: ophthalmology

The branch of medicine dealing with the diseases and surgery of the visual pathways (usually the eyes or the brain).

Glossary: eye massager

Instrument to stimulate the action of the eye.

Glossary: cataract

Cloudiness on the lens of the eye impairing vision or causing blindness.