Chennai

With an eye to preserving instruments of a bygone era

CHENNAI,TAMIL NADU, 28/02/2020 : Renovated new look on 100 Year old The museum in Elliot’s School, at Government Ophthalmic Hospital, in chennai on Friday.Photo: B. Velankanni Raj / The Hindu

CHENNAI,TAMIL NADU, 28/02/2020 : Renovated new look on 100 Year old The museum in Elliot’s School, at Government Ophthalmic Hospital, in chennai on Friday.Photo: B. Velankanni Raj / The Hindu   | Photo Credit: B_VELANKANNI RAJ

The 100-year-old Elliot’s Museum at the bicentenary Regional Institute of Ophthalmology and Government Ophthalmic Hospital (RIO - GOH) in Egmore was reopened recently following an extensive renovation exercise. It features instruments and equipments that are obsolete now. They are being preserved for posterity.

“The museum has been acclaimed as one of the best in the world by distinguished ophthalmologists visiting the hospital. The ophthalmological community would find it fascinating to learn how the instruments from a bygone era were made and how they functioned. The collection includes instruments meant for diagnosis as well as treatment. Among them is an instrument called “giant magnet stand” which is used in the treatment of injuries caused by welding. Using this instrument, the iron particles that are set deep in eyes would be removed. Although the patient would not regain his vision, he would be relieved of pain,” says Prof. Dr. M.V.S. Prakash, Deputy Superintendent, RIO - GOH.

Further, the museum has paintings of a few patients that seek to present certain diseased conditions. Besides, a good number of hand-written case sheets along with diagrams since 1867 are preserved as manuscripts in glass cases.

“We wonder why our predecessors took the effort of having paintings of patients. And then, the handwritten case sheets are quite legible. It shows the quality of paper and ink of those days. They have clearly withstood the test of time,” says Prakash.

There are models of eyeballs made of porcelain with the features of tropical diseases engraved in them and the labels etched in French.

The museum will be opened to medical fraternity. The last time the museum underwent renovation was in the 1970s.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 3:15:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/with-an-eye-to-preserving-instruments-of-a-bygone-era/article30950550.ece

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