I don’t know who invented the Phoropter and can’t seem to find information on who invented it. What we do have is some early shots of Phoropters and resources on where to purchase vintage optical and medical equipment .
A phoropter is an instrument commonly used by eye care professionals during an eye examination, containing different lenses used for refraction of the eye during sight testing, to measure an individual’s refractive error and determine his or her eyeglass prescription.
Typically, the patient sits behind the phoropter, and looks through it at an eye chart placed at optical infinity (20 feet or 6 metres), then at near (16 inches or 40 centimetres) for individuals needing reading glasses. The eye care professional then changes lenses and other settings, while asking the patient for subjective feedback on which settings gave the best vision. Sometimes a retinoscope or an automated refractor is used to provide initial settings for the phoropter.
Phoroptor is a registered trademark name currently owned by Reichert Technologies, filed Apr 25, 1921 with the USPTO, serial number 71146698. The common name is refractor. The current version is named “Ultramatic RX Master Phoroptor”. (Wikipedia)
From Industrial Anatomy: An interesting collection of 3 Phoropters hat are all mounted on desk stands. It’s just a hint as to the variety you will find when collecting antique medical devices. They have at least 6 different examples in stock. Prices range from $375 to $500. They can be purchased at Industrial Anatomy
You Can find Current and New Phoropters At:
Sources And Where to Find Vintage Optical Equipment
- Optik Museum
- Ebay has quite a selection
- Radio Guy has a museum and medical devices for sale
- Vintage Medical
- Ed Welch Antiques
- The Burns Archive