Artificial 'Bird Cage' right leg, Europe, 1913-1923
Made for someone who had their leg amputated above the knee, this unusual metal skeleton-like structure is known as a ‘Bird Cage’ design. This design was intended to be both strong and lightweight. The socket of the leg is made from certalmid, a material designed for prosthetic limbs during the First World War and used for many years afterwards. The leg was issued by the Ministry of Pensions, a British government department made responsible for compensating the huge numbers of British servicemen left physically disabled by the war. It is shown here with another lightweight example (1999-473).
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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 leg
A device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body.