'Alclad' artificial left leg, London, England, 1924
The knee, ankle, foot and toe joints of this artificial limb all move and are flexible. Made from metal with a rubber foot and leather strapping to keep the leg in place, the prosthesis was made for someone who had their left leg amputated above the knee as a result of their service during the First World War. Most amputee soldiers from this conflict would have initially been issued with mainly wooden limbs. But wartime and post-war research saw the development of lighter metal limbs – which were then preferred over the heavier wooden ones. The leg was made by an American limb making company known as Hanger. Hanger was founded by James Edward Hanger, one of the first soldiers to undergo an amputation during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Hanger began to design his own prosthetic limbs and founded the company that still exists today.
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Glossary: artificial leg
A device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body.