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Operay Multibeam SOLD


Circa 1930

Operay Multibeam surgical light by Operay Laboratories, which then became Ohio Chemical and Manufacturing Company of Madison, Wisconsin.

Origin: Saint Mary Mercy Hospital, Gary, Indiana.

This restored ceiling-mounted Operay Multibeam Surgical Light by Kurt Wehrmann of Northern Scientific is made of aluminum, brass, copper, bronze and steel. This vintage O.R. light is one of the first shadow-less surgical lights made for the surgical infirmary, or operating theater of its time. In present day, one can’t help but think of this retro style steampunk surgical light as something out of a science fiction or Frankenstein horror movie.

For aesthetic purposes I exposed soft metals such as copper, bronze, brass, and aluminum. The green metallic paint closely resembles that of the original color. It is worth noting that this early model has clear magnifying glass, as compared to the later models which have ridges.

This particular model of the Operay Multibeam consists of a central light-emitting orb which is rated for two 200 watt lamps. Inside this orb are six, three inch concave mirrors which reflect the light through seven convex lenses. Those lenses magnify the light, where it is then reflected off six, eight inch remotely mounted mirrors. The reflected light — when combined with light generated from a fixture located on the top of the aluminum orb — reduces the interference of shadows during surgery. Focus control is operated by turning an aluminum knob which extends down from a gear box located near the copper counter weight. By turning the knob either clockwise or counter clockwise the surgical staff can adjust the tilt of the mirrors and orb. Depth of field adjustment is made by lifting or lowering the copper counter weight. Lateral tilt can also be achieved by adjusting the friction tension located within a centrally located knuckle consisting of aluminum and brass fittings. Horizontal 360 degree movement is also possible via one electrical brush cylinder which allows for a greater range of movement.

This vintage lighting fixture is not meant for professional use, and should only be used for display or recreational purposes. For example, a Woman or Man cave, pool table, or reading light.