from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A light-producing organ found especially in marine fishes that emits light from specialized structures or derives light from symbiotic luminescent bacteria.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A light-emitting organ, found in some fish and other marine animals.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A form of endoscope using an electric light.
  • n. A light-emitting organ; specif., one of the luminous spots on certain marine (mostly deep-sea) fishes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A luminous spot which has connection with the nervous system in fishes, especially in deep-sea species.
  • n. An apparatus for illuminating any accessible internal part of the body for the purpose of inspection.
  • n. In microscopy, an apparatus, including a mirror, for finding sections when immersed in a staining fluid; a section-finder.


From photo- (“light”) + -phore (“bearer”) (Wiktionary)


  • This arrangement supplies radiant heat and is called a photophore (See Fig. 3).

    The Mother and Her Child

  • Cases of ordinary colic are usually relieved by heat to the abdomen and feet, drinking hot water in which there has been dissolved a pinch of ordinary baking soda, or a portion of a soda mint tablet, or by the use of the photophore, as previously described.

    The Mother and Her Child

  • Occasionally with the aid of the photophore, and even without it, the warm two-ounce enema containing a level teaspoon of baking soda and a level teaspoon of salt to a pint of water when allowed to flow into the bowel, will soon bring down both gas and feces to the great relief of the baby.

    The Mother and Her Child

  • Rubbing of the spine, alcohol or witch-hazel rubbing of the entire body, the neutral bath, or the application of the electric photophore -- described a few pages back -- may be made to the painful part.

    The Mother and Her Child

  • (If the photophore is unavailable, a hot-water bottle may be applied.)

    The Mother and Her Child

  • The photophore is simply radiant heat -- heat plus light (See Fig. 3) -- and as this heat is applied to legs and buttocks of the crying child the diaper is warmed, the abdomen relaxes, gas is expelled, intestinal contractions relieved, and the baby is soon fast asleep.

    The Mother and Her Child

  • Those of my mother readers who have electric lights in their home, will find the photophore to be a source of great comfort and convenience; for this simple contrivance is usually able to banish colic in a few moments.

    The Mother and Her Child

  • It may be the bedding is cold and, if so, it should be warmed up by the use of the photophore previously described, or by means of the flannel-covered hot water bottle.

    The Mother and Her Child

  • Older children troubled with jaundice should receive the following treatment: The photophore as described elsewhere should be applied to the liver and abdomen (the liver is on the right side), and this should be followed by the application of what is known as a heating compress, consisting of three layers -- a cloth wrung from cold water, a mackintosh, and then two thicknesses of blanket flannel -- which are all applied when the skin has been made red by the application of heat.

    The Mother and Her Child


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