Artificial arm with four tool attachments, England, 1945-1955
Owned by a factory worker who had his right arm amputated below the elbow following a wartime injury, this artificial arm was designed to be used at work. Like a number of amputee servicemen he was employed in the artificial limb-making workshops based at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton – the main British limb-fitting centre during both world wars. He later worked in a factory making metal sockets from 1943 until 1985. Four different sized hammers can also be attached via a locking mechanism. The one shown attached to the arm is a 2-kg club-hammer that has many marks from extensive use. This arm is a purely functional item, a device for holding tools. The wearer is likely to have replaced it with a more ‘lifelike’ limb when he left work at the end of the day.
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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 arm