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"The first thing that's wrong with being a science-fiction writer today is that the present has caught up with the future and surpassed it."
- Peter Watts

Paralyzing Eye  
  False eye contains mechanism for causing brief paralysis.  

Oh, who wouldn't want one of these?

Mendez S.D. de Witt had several different artificial eyes, none of which was quite what it seemed.he occupied a section of a laboratory desk in the Bureau of Standards building, and, with a soldering iron and tweezers, deftly assembled the mechanism for yet another spurious optic. This one was to be a paralyzing ray machine. The mechanism would be installed in the Lucite shell at another time, de Witt didn't want the other Bureau of standards technicians to learn about his eyes.
From The Best-Laid Scheme, by L. Sprague de Camp.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1941
Additional resources -

Here's how it worked:

Hedges got the pin out of his bomb just as de Witt remembered his paralyzing eye. He blinked his real eye, and sighted the phony on the back of Hedges' neck. The bomb fell to the asphalt.

The idea of a paralysis beam or device was quite popular. Compare to the paralysis bomb from Robert Heinlein's 1941 novel Methuselah's Children, the paralyzing cone from The Atomic Conquerors by Edmond Hamilton (1927) and the para-beam From The Mechanical Monarch, by E.C. Tubb (1958).

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Best-Laid Scheme
  More Ideas and Technology by L. Sprague de Camp
  Tech news articles related to The Best-Laid Scheme
  Tech news articles related to works by L. Sprague de Camp

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