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Editor: Claire L. Jones

Drawing together essays written by scholars from Great Britain and the United States, this book provides an important contribution to the emerging field of disability history. It explores the development of modern transatlantic prosthetic industries in nineteenth and twentieth centuries and reveals how the co-alignment of medicine, industrial capitalism, and social norms shaped diverse lived experiences of prosthetic technologies and in turn, disability identities. Through case studies that focus on hearing aids, artificial tympanums, amplified telephones, artificial limbs, wigs and dentures, this book provides a new account of the historic relationship between prostheses, disability and industry. Essays draw on neglected source material, including patent records, trade literature and artefacts, to uncover the historic processes of commodification surrounding different prostheses and the involvement of neglected companies, philanthropists, medical practitioners, veterans, businessmen, wives, mothers and others in these processes. Its culturally informed commodification approach means that this book will be relevant to scholars interested in cultural, literary, social, political, medical, economic and commercial history.

Army, Medicine, and Modernity in WWI Germany

This book is a critical examination of the relationships between war, medicine, and the pressures of modernization in the waning stages of the German Empire. Through her examination of wartime medical and scientific innovations, government and military archives, museum and health exhibitions, philanthropic works, consumer culture and popular media, historian Heather Perry reveals how the pressures of modern industrial warfare did more than simply transform medical care for injured soldiers—they fundamentally re-shaped how Germans perceived the disabled body. As the Empire faced an ever more desperate labour shortage, military and government leaders increasingly turned to medical authorities for assistance in the re-organization of German society for total war. Thus, more than a simple history of military medicine or veteran care, Recycling the Disabled tells the story of the medicalization of modern warfare in Imperial Germany and the lasting consequences of this shift in German society.

Space, prosthetics and the First World War
Julie Anderson

158 7 SEPARATING THE SURGIC AL AND COMMERCIAL: SPACE, PROSTHETICS AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR Julie Anderson On 24 February 1920, King George V and Queen Mary attended the British Industrial Fair at Crystal Palace in London. From contemporaneous newspaper reports, it is clear that the king in particular was interested in the artificial limbs on display. The royal couple and other attendees marvelled at the demonstration by a one-​armed man who manipulated a 14-​pound sledgehammer and took a cigarette from a packet, lit it with a match and, as it was reported

in Rethinking modern prostheses in Anglo-American commodity cultures, 1820–1939
WWI and the revolution in artificial limbs
Heather R. Perry

2 RE-ARMING THE DISABLED: WWI AND THE REVOLUTION IN ARTIFICIAL LIMBS ‘I wanted to become head forester once.’ ‘So you may still’, I assure him. ‘There are splendid artificial limbs now; you’d hardly know there was anything missing. They are fixed on to the muscles. You can move the fingers and work and even write with an artificial hand. And besides, they will always be making improvements.’ (Erich M. Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front, 1929)1 All Quiet on the Western Front is still considered by many to be ‘the greatest war novel of all time’.2 But in

in Recycling the disabled
Artificial limb patents, medical professionalism and the moral economy in ante
Caroline Lieffers

137 6 ITINERANT MANIPULATORS AND PUBLIC BENEFACTORS: ARTIFICIAL LIMB PATENTS, MEDIC AL PROFESSIONALISM AND THE MORAL ECONOMY IN ANTEBELLUM AMERIC A Caroline Lieffers ‘The legal right is, of course, not disputed; the moral right is by no means so clear.’ So wrote Robert Arthur, a professor at the Philadelphia College of Dental Surgery, in 1853.1 Arthur was referring to the practice of patenting, which was at the centre of contentious debates to define ethics and etiquette in a variety of health professions in nineteenth-​century America. The legal right was in

in Rethinking modern prostheses in Anglo-American commodity cultures, 1820–1939
Consuming ability in the antebellum artificial limb market
Caroline Lieffers

. 2 Palmer is a key figure in the history of disability and prostheses, but his early career remains relatively unexamined by historians. The most significant studies of American artificial limbs have focused on the period after the Civil War (1861–65), viewing the rehabilitated, industrialised body as an essential symbol for a nation in recovery, ravaged by conflict and flooded with perhaps 45,000 amputation survivors. 3 Palmer had a central role in this

in Disability and the Victorians
Abstract only
Claire L. Jones

today’s high-​tech myoelectric limb prostheses and cochlear 3 Introduction 3 ear implants clearly differ from the relatively low-​tech artificial limbs and h­ earing trumpets of the nineteenth century, this collection outlines the remarkable similarities between the commercial processes involved in successfully getting these seemingly different products to market. Yet, by taking a commodification approach, this collection does not seek to privilege its significance over and above other interpretive frameworks, or to suggest that historians have neglected economic

in Rethinking modern prostheses in Anglo-American commodity cultures, 1820–1939
Prostheses for women in nineteenth-century literature and commerce
Ryan Sweet

. Frank Palmer, one of the men contracted by the US government to supply artificial limbs to the nation’s amputee veterans –​whose patenting of his devices is explored in depth in Chapter 6 by Caroline Lieffers.1 Smith describes how one amputee walked ‘splendidly on his “Palmer leg” ’ and later he refers to Palmer himself as ‘the great manufacturer of artificial limbs’.2 Hill was not the only literary figure to recommend Palmer’s artificial legs in this period. Famous poet and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes describes how he was ‘completely taken in … by the contrivance of the

in Rethinking modern prostheses in Anglo-American commodity cultures, 1820–1939
Re-casting the ‘cripple’ in war-time Germany
Heather R. Perry

‘earn his daily bread’. Within the brochure’s forty-four pages, Biesalski used medical explanations, a wide variety of diagrams and photographs, and several case studies to detail how any disabled soldier could be physically restored and returned to his pre-war occupation. He outlined the advances in fracture care, methods for repairing damaged nerves, techniques for relaxing stiffened joints, and even how artificial limbs could replace lost ones. In fact, Biesalski comforted his readers that the widespread concern regarding the economic fate of the war-disabled (and

in Recycling the disabled
Abstract only
Mobilisation, militarisation, and medicalisation in WWI Germany
Heather R. Perry

signed an armistice with the Entente Powers on November 11, 1918. This might prompt some scholars to conclude, then, that the recycling of disabled soldiers in war-time Germany was ineffective. But this study was never intended to be a history of how Germany lost (or might have won) the war. Rather, this book has concentrated on revealing the unique medical processes which were set in motion in Germany as a direct result of the First World War. The specialisation of orthopaedics, the revolution in artificial limb design, the creation of modern rehabilitation, and the

in Recycling the disabled