Artificial left arm, Scotland, 1937
Made from steel and painted a flesh colour, the elbow, wrist and thumb of this prosthetic left arm are articulated. The hand is made from a material called empire cloth – cotton coated with oil. The leather upper arm piece is used to strap the arm to the shoulder. Dated 8 August 1937, the prosthetic arm was collected from the Aberdeen Hospital in Scotland. It is likely to have been deposited there after it was no longer fit for use. If so, the wearer would have been issued with a replacement. It is likely he would have been an ex-serviceman, one of the many thousands who lost a limb during the First World War. As such, he was entitled to a limb provided by the state, free of charge – unlike his civilian counterparts.
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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).
Something that has two or more sections linked by a flexible joint.
Glossary: artificial arm