History


Artificial Eye/Prosthetic Eye/Glass Eye
Artificial Eye/Prosthetic Eye/Glass Eye
Artificial Eye/Prosthetic Eye/Glass Eye

History of Artificial Eyes

Artificial eye-making has been practiced since the early days of the Roman and Egyptian empires. These primitive artificial eyes were made by priest of painted clay attached to cloth and worn outside of the eye socket. It wasn’t until centuries later that the first in-socket ocular prosthesis was developed. The first of these were made of solid gold and painted with colored enamel.

It wasn’t until the late sixteenth century that the Venetians began making artificial eyes out of glass. They continued to make these crude glass eyes until the end of the eighteenth century. In the mid-nineteenth century, superior techniques were developed by German glass-blowers. With the onset of World War II, there was a shortage of imported German glass used to make the prostheses. As a result, the U.S. Government commissioned American companies to develop techniques for making artificial eyes out of acrylic plastic. These methods have been refined over the years and a majority of patients today wear ocular prostheses made of acrylic.

History of Southeastern Ocularists, Inc.

The history of Southeastern Ocularists, Inc., has its roots in Robert Henderlite’s, B.C.O., uncle Langdon “Red” Henderlite’s, B.C.O., own career as an ocularist. When in 1953, Langdon was hired as an apprentice at Galeski Optical in Richmond, VA. He would become the “traveling eye-man” for Galeski in the following years, visiting patients from West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. In 1980, Robert’s father Hunter Henderlite began his apprenticeship with Langdon. Hunter eventually settled in Charleston, SC where he opened his own practice, Hunter Henderlite, Inc. with his wife Sue Henderlite.

In the summer of 1992, persuaded by his father, Robert Henderlite, B.C.O., moved to Charleston, SC to take up the family business of making prosthetic eyes. As an apprentice to his father Robert learned the fine art of creating custom-made ocular prosthetics. In 1993, Robert moved to Charlotte, NC to open his own practice, Southeastern Ocularists, Inc. To better serve the needs of his patients the company expanded to include office locations in Winston-Salem, NC and Charleston, SC.