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Artificial right leg, Scotland, 1914-1918

Made from wood, this temporary prosthetic leg was for a person who had had their leg amputated below the knee. The foot and ankle joints are known as ‘Clapper’ joints, named after the noise made when the joints are flexed. The leg was made for Erskine House in Scotland, one of the main centres in the United Kingdom to fit prosthetic limbs during and after the First World War. It opened in October 1916. Erskine House also made limbs to their own design and many veterans who were fitted with them complained that they were of a poorer quality than those available elsewhere.

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Glossary: prostheses

Artificial body parts, or materials inserted into tissue for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic effect. Prostheses can be functional (artificial arms and legs), or cosmetic (artificial eye).

Glossary: artificial leg

A device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body.