. 18 Although the telephone had been taken up by the military soon after its invention, and used in the Second Afghan War in 1879, it was not a popular form of military communication. 19 When the First World War began, the military dismissed the telephone as unimportant and unsafe compared with telegraphy, visual signalling or motorbike couriers. 20 However, the trench warfare conditions that developed as fighting came to a stalemate prompted a rethink over the practicality and utility of telephony. In the dark, underground, isolated trenches, the telephone
into prosthesis commodification and, together, suggest new ways of thinking about disability’s pasts.
1 In 2009, there were over 2 million amputees or people with limb absence in the
United States. Many of these amputees were veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan
conflicts. Stories surrounding US and UK soldiers who successfully, even heroically,
use prostheses as replacements for limbs lost in the recent wars are the subject of
much recent discussion. See, for example, B. Bailey and R. H. Immerman (eds),
Understanding the US Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (New