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Artificial left arm, Europe, 1925-1935

Fixed to the palm of the hand, this fork was intended to help the wearer eat. It is possible that the wearer had limited elbow movement, after their arm was amputated below the joint, which is why the fork is fixed in an unusual position. The screw-on hand is fully articulated and has fingernails carved into the wood. The arm is secured to the wearer’s stump by the leather socket and arm band. Although the original maker is unknown, the arm has undergone repairs by Steepers, an American limb-making company based at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton, England. This institution was established in 1915 to deal with the growing number of amputees returning from fighting in the First World War. Initially, mainly American limb makers were employed as they were better able to meet the unprecedented demands.

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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: articulated

Something that has two or more sections linked by a flexible joint.

Glossary: artificial arm

No description.