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McKay-type artificial hand, Scotland, c.1920

The McKay artificial hand is named after its inventor. McKay was a New Zealander who established the McKay Artificial Limb Company. This was one of the more innovative in the immediate post-war period. The fingers of this artificial hand are rigid in position. However, the thumb is moved using the ring-pulled spring to grip objects. The hand is made from aluminium. This is a lightweight yet durable material, unlike heavier wooden ones. It is coated with rubber to protect the metal. Nails are moulded into the rubber to make the hand look more realistic.

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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: artificial hand

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