Further to the last correspondence on the subject (ref. 30th Gen Hosp query), I came upon some interesting data re the development and the manufacturing of 'artificial' eyes in WW2. Reference is "The Army Nurse" Magazine, Volume 2, Number 6, dated June 1945.
The Article states :
The Birmingham General Hospital Plastic Artificial Eye program started in January 1945 in a lab specially fitted for that purpose. The Officer in charge is Captain Arthur L. Lundblad, DC, who was trained for this work at the Valley Forge General Hospital in Pennsylvania. Dental Officers were chosen for this delicate work because their work most closely resembled plastic artificial eye construction. Training is only one month, yet the product is equal in quality and appearance and superior to the finest glass eye created by Technicians trained for six years in the art of glass blowing.
Birmingham General Hospital's work with plastic artificial eyes is typical of the work performed by other General Hospitals throughout the United States. The initial process was developed by 3 Army Dentists; Major Victor H. Dietz, Major Milton S. Wirtz, and Captain Stanley F. Erpf, who, working together at Valley Forge General Hospital, trained other Dental Officers in the work.
Plastic eyes are lighter, easier to manufacture, indestructible, and cheaper. While stock glass eyes cost from $ 10.00 to $ 20.00 and custom made eyes may cost up to $ 300.00, a plastic eye can be made for less than $ 5.00.