Artificial Eyes

Description
Ocular prostheses, more commonly known as artificial eyes, are used to replace the natural eye due to disease or accident. Historically preostetic eyes have been made from a variety of materials. Clay artificial eyes decorated with gold were known to have been used by Egyptians and Romans.
Hollow glass eyes blown from thin tubes of glass were first developed in the early nineteenth century. Glass eyes were used until WW II interfered with their importation from Germany.
Because the war interferred with the importation of glass eyes, and extreme temperatures caused the fragile eyes to shatter, there was incentive to develop a new type of artificial eye. Several groups of scientists in the United States and abroad developed acrylic artificial eyes, which today are the type most often used. This box contains fifty glass eyes of various sizes, shapes, and shades of blue, brown, and hazel.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
artificial eyes
eye, artificial, set
prosthesis
maker
unknown
Physical Description
glass (eyes material)
wood (case material)
Measurements
overall: 1 1/8 in x 13 5/16 in x 6 5/8 in; 2.8575 cm x 33.8455 cm x 16.8275 cm
ID Number
1984.0310.01
accession number
1984.0310
catalog number
1984.0310.01
subject
Health & Medicine
Artifact Walls exhibit
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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