Ocular eyepiece? A name?
January 10, 2006 11:50 AM   Subscribe

An entirely pedantic and possibly stupid question, but does anybody know what the name of that elliptical thing with the hole is that doctors used to strap to their heads? It was used as an eyepiece of some sort. You generally see this in cartoons and it's a common symbol attached to medicine. I want to say that it's an occulator or some such, but I know there has to be a specific name for it. Bonus points if you can point me to its history. Thanks so much!
posted by ed to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
I think you are referring to a head mirror.
posted by tomierna at 11:52 AM on January 10, 2006

Google for doctors used to wear on their head gives this
posted by rxrfrx at 11:59 AM on January 10, 2006

Cecil to your rescue. (Straight Dope link)
posted by pmbuko at 12:00 PM on January 10, 2006

late by a minute.
posted by pmbuko at 12:00 PM on January 10, 2006

They still use them, and break them, regularly. They are helpful for handsfree viewing while doing procedures - such as Botox to the vocal cords, etc.
posted by blackkar at 12:20 PM on January 10, 2006

They were invented by a Czech named Johann Czermak in 1857; you can follow some of the links in this Google search (especially this one—scroll down) and read this page from Medicine and the Reign of Technology by Stanley Joel Reiser ("His brilliant public demonstrations delighted and astonished the European medical public").
posted by languagehat at 1:07 PM on January 10, 2006

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