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Noye type eye speculum, probably English, 1869-1930

Noye’s eye speculum retracted the eyelids ‘to the greatest degree without causing injurious pressure’ during ophthalmic surgery. It was invented by Dr Henry D. Noyes of New York. The operator depressed the handles. This caused a ‘Y’-shaped ratchet system to force the speculum arms (and therefore the eyelid) open. The ratchet system was then held by adjusting a screw. This stopped the blades expanding or retracting further. It let the ophthalmologist operate on the patient with both hands free.

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Glossary: ophthalmology

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

Glossary: speculum

Instrument for dilating certain passages of the body, and throwing light within them, thus facilitating examination or surgical operations; Types incluse ear, nasal, vaginal, anal or rectal