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Model of an artificial leg, Europe, 1918-1990

Alex Munro Armstrong of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in the British Army lost his leg below the knee on 24 April 1918. He made this model of a below-the-knee prosthesis for the left leg. It was probably based on his own artificial limb. Each of the 41,000 British servicemen who lost at least one limb in the First World War was entitled to a free artificial replacement. Initially overwhelmed by the demand, a combination of American manufacturers, new limb-fitting centres, technological advances and the emergence of a valid British limb-making industry eventually solved the problem. However, there were still many thousands of amputees awaiting their first artificial limb by the end of the conflict.

Object number:

1999-460

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Glossary:

Glossary: model - representation

Use for a scaled representation of an object or structure, usually three-dimensional. The item is often idealised or modified to make it conceptually easier to understand.

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.