Catalogue Number: 2935
Ocular protheses in original boxes
Category: Spectacles and lenses
Sub-Category: Artificial eyes, facial prosthesis
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1970s
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Description Of Item: Two items: (1) a small white cardboard box, 45 x 45 x 28 mm, containing a single ocular prothesis (probably plastic) and bearing a printed label ' From / E Scheler / 311 Tapleys Hill Road / Seaton / S.A. 5023 / Phone 56 8512 ' and ball point notation ' Spare optic / ? 1972 / Mrs M. Rees, and (2) a patterned cardboard box, of the same dimensions containing two similar but not identical prostheses and a thin unpainted shell with a label loosely affixed by selotape with the notation 'optic for repair', These lenses maybe glass.
Historical Significance: A search of Trove finds advertisements in Perth newspapers Aug 30 1931, Oct 15 1943 and June 10 1947 for E Scheler artificial eye maker practising in Perth. He died in Adelaide, South Australia, on 4 April 1988. A website for Cos-Medic Artificial Eyes at http://www.artificialeyes.com.au/history.html, sighted August 2 2016, reports in a history of artificial eyes that 'In Australia a lot of glass eyes were manufactured by a German ocularist, Mr Scheler who travelled the country and manufactured custom eyes. He also produced a stock eye (or pre-made eye) and goes on to say that 'hundreds of these stock glass eyes were distributed by optometrists, and patients would be fitted with the best that could be found from 'off the shelf'.' In an ABC broadcast on Stateline South Australia broadcast on 11/4/2003 Patrick Emmett interviews Paul McClarin, a glass eye maker, and reports that McClarin was taught glass eye making by Erwin Scheler. See http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/sa/content/2003/s830589.htm. As glass eyes are hollow and very fine there have been some cases were this type of eye has been known to implode. The Advertiser (Adelaide) March 13 1953 reports an incident when a boy's glass eye made by E. Scheler exploded. See also booklet on the history of ocular protheses Cat No 1843.
How Acquired: Donated by Estate of William Cooper, via Peter Lewis
Date Acquired: Mar 2016
Location: Archive office. East wall shelves unit 3. Drawer 6