Lister Perimeter


Theodore Hamblin
early 1900s
steel, brass, glass, paper


The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists Museum, Sydney, Australia
EMu user since 2012

Lister PerimeterThe Lister Perimeter is a very early arc perimeter used to measure a patient’s visual field, or peripheral vision. It detects a patient’s blind spot and any pathological changes to the visual field that can occur as a result of eye or neurological diseases.

This instrument consists of a rotating arc with targets of various size and colour (red, green and white). In front of the arc there is an adjustable double chin rest, and behind it a round chart holder with a large disc containing a numerical scale: 0-180, R&L. There is also a lamp holder with a directional shade and, attached to the base, a mounted box of targets.

The patient faces the Perimeter and rests their chin in one or other of the chin rests, depending on which eye is being tested; targets are then moved along the arc until the patient can no longer see them. The point is recorded. The arc rotates, allowing the field of vision to be tested across 360 degrees. The visual field test is performed one eye at a time, the other eye being covered. Targets of various size and colour are used and recorded on the examination card.

Acknowledgements: Curator - Dr David Kaufman