There is evidence that both Egyptians and Romans decorated their dead and statues with artificial eyes made from bronze, gems, or silver. Ambrose Pare (1510-1590) described prostheses made from precious metals and worn in front of an atrophic eye. Venetian glass blowers made some of the first glass eyes. Later the French and Germans entered the field, usually as family groups and the latter brought the art to the USA .
The early Australian glass eyes were made in Adelaide by Mr. Scheiffer a German who arrived here in the 1930s. While at present many eye prostheses are made from Methacrylate resin, the occurrence of allergies and other socket problems necessitate the continued use of glass as an alternative. Currently this work is carried out by Paul McClarin, the only current expert in Australia . As a 2003 Churchill Scholar he worked with Mr. Frank Muller-Uri in Lauscha, but also visited several other centres there. The following photographs document and illustrate the materials and stages in the making of a glass eye.