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Brunton auriscope

Item details

Object number M-3060
Manufacturer Matthews
Place London
Date 1860s
Category Otologic instruments
Material Tin plated


An auriscope lets a doctor examine the inside of a patient’s ear. The first true, and portable, auriscope was that devised by John Brunton (1835-1899). This specimen is metal (probably tin) plated engraved with a coat of arms and has three interchangeable ear pieces or specula. It has a tube with an internal perforated mirror that reflects light from a trumpet on the side. Light from a candle or lamp placed under the circular element of the instrument was reflected onto a plane mirror and this enabled the doctor to see inside the patient’s ear.