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[Perspectives] Silver eye bath

In biology structure and function are intimately linked, as they are in so many other things. The simple eye bath is an instance. Made since the 16th century, these small hand-held objects have been valued by people whose eyes troubled them. They were fashioned from a variety of materials. Silver, porcelain, and hand-blown glass serviced the top end of the market in the 17th and 18th centuries. Mass production during the 19th century created pressed glass eye baths in a variety of colours. Aluminium had its day in the early 20th century before plastic overtook metal in the manufacture of so many goods.