Maker and Role
Hirst Contact Lens Limited, Manufacturer
Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Manufacturer
Vertometer. This instrument was made by Hirst in conjunction with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) to measure the Vertex power of the early Haptic lenses. Made circa 1947. Horizontal oblong object with an eyepiece at one end. This points to a black piece fitted with a metal wire mount, presumably where the contact lens was placed. The vertometer is supported in the centre by a black circular base. There are two horizontal rods of metal that span the object’s length – one is cylindrical and the other is rectangular. The outward face of the rectangular rod has a number scale. From the left, the numbers start at 10 and descend in increments of 1 to 0 in the centre. The numbers then ascend in increments of 1 up to 20. There are two black Bakelite rectangular pieces that can slide along the length of the item. These pieces hold metal cylinders with lenses. The rear cylinder has a power cord attached at the back, this is the light source for the instrument. The cord connects to a small wooden box with a round black plastic switch on one end. There is a piece of card attached to the lid, with writing handwritten in black. It reads “Vertometer / 1946 / built by D.S.I.R.” Inside the box is a battery terminal which operates the switch.
Signature/Marks and Type
Vertometer / 1946 / built by D.S.I.R. Hand-written
Hirst Contact Lens Limited et al. 1946
1947. Vertometer, Haptic, 2018.1.10. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).