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Wooden artificial leg, Europe, 1925-1935

This simple wooden ‘peg-leg’, sometimes called a ‘socket leg’, was made for a person who had had their leg amputated above the knee. The leg is secured around the waist by the leather strap but, as it does not bend, the wearer would have needed crutches or supports to move around. Extensive home repairs have been made to the leg by the original owner – either demonstrating the lengths some people go to keep a limb they feel comfortable with or the fact that he could not afford a new one.

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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 leg

A device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body.