Patrick's Improved Retinoscope

Accession #: 2009083

Description: Manufactured by RA & S Ltd. Incomplete. Original rubber clad flex wiring includes a household bell transformer.

By Roderick Knight,

'Washington University has an identical one and considers it to be c 1920. I then discovered a Patrick retinoscope which had a pale yellow (thus monochromatic) focusing lens. I found this gave a superb retinal reflex with excellent results. Unlike Dr Fowler’s retinoscope, it used an ordinary 2.5 volt torch bulb which was easy and cheap to replace. The only slight drawback to the Patrick retinoscope was that it was a mains model. However, a simple transformer soon solved that and saved on the purchase of batteries.

Over the years, as my Patrick retinoscopes (I have three) are getting quite old although still working efficiently, I have tried and tested many different modern models by courtesy of all the well-known instrument suppliers. However, none have given results good enough to provide a suitable replacement. The light beam on the Patrick is so pure that event the smallest amount of astigmatism can be seen. I have never been sure why this is so, but it may be that the light source is at a much greater distance (at the bottom of the handle) from the focusing lens, which is also larger, monochromatic, and is only 5 dioptres.

I wonder if any readers have had similar experiences with a Patrick retinoscope. If so, their views would be appreciated.'

R T Knight


Acquired: 11/04/2009