Dr Ball's Ivory Eye Cups

eye capsThis device, invented by Dr Ball of Nassau Street, New York, was a small cup with a squeezy rubber balloon attached to it, as pictured left. The invention made its way to England in 1872, when Chichester minister Joseph Fletcher filed a British patent for it.

The patient had to put the cup over the eye and then pump the balloon to create a vacuum, exerting suction to change the shape of the eyeball. Presumably if you pumped really hard, there could be gruesomely spectacular results.         

I was disappointed to learn that Dr Ball's initial was J, not I.   


               BY ROYAL LETTERS PATENT.           THE EYES! THE EYES!! THE EYES!!!


             SIGHT RESTORED AND SPECTACLES NO                                LONGER NEEDED.              All diseases of the Eyes Cured by using             Dr. BALL'S PATENT IVORY EYE CUPS      By  their  use  the  shrunk  and  enfeebled  eye  in  both young  and  old  is  at  once  furnished  with  the  best  and indispensable  animal  stimulant—Arterial  Blood.  Nature herself does the work aided by our Ivory Eye  Cups. Over 25,000 persons have already been cured by Dr. Ball's safe and simple treatment. For   particulars   address   stamped   envelope   to  Mr.  J. FLETCHER, Richmond-villa, Portfield, Chichester, Sussex.


Source: The Hull Packet and East Riding Times, Friday 13 October 1876


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