Clar as Mud? Origins of the head mirror: A historical note

Ollivier Laccourreye, Alfred Werner, Iain McGill, F. Christopher Holsinger, David W. Eisele

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In Europe, the name "Clar" immediately evokes to any otorhinolaryngologist the classic head mirror that remains a symbol of our profession. Yet, the origin of Clar has never been investigated. In this clinical and historical review, based on an Internet and PubMed database search together with perusal of Fischer's Biographical Lexikon, the authors seek to elucidate this medical enigma. The data presented suggest that Clar was not a physician but rather a term picked by the company that designed the mirror by the end of the 19th century to underscore the bright and sharp view provided by this then innovative medical device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)930-932
Number of pages3
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • history
  • mirror
  • otorhinolaryngology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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