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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.

Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings
Lauren Harris

, 2019; Jasper in Cato, 2019 ). Health-related items that have been delayed due to the sanctions exemptions process include reproductive health kits, heaters for immunisation clinics, ambulance parts, refrigerators, wheelchairs, crutches, walking sticks and walkers, glasses and hearing aids; food security programmes have seen delivery of irrigation and agricultural equipment that is time-sensitive due to food production seasons postponed in exemptions ( UN PoE, 2019 : 364–69). One interviewee expressed the view that projects have become simpler and are undertaken in

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
From the Global to the Local
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

minimize ‘great hardship’, liaised with other agencies to ensure they will ‘pick up’ cases if necessary 1998 Change: stopped free distribution of prosthetics to all beneficiaries Beneficiaries: prosthetic devices restricted to children and ‘those who need the aids to work’ Impact: no hearing aids/glasses for OAPs 1999 Change: reduction in UNRWA salaries and terms and conditions Impact: ‘difficulty in recruiting and keeping

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Interpreting ‘patented’ aids to the deaf in Victorian Britain
Graeme Gooday
Karen Sayer

find them some little thing that they may put into their ears, that will make them hear everything, without anybody finding out what is the matter with them.’ Harriet Martineau, ‘Letter to the Deaf ’, Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine, April 1834 Hearing assistive devices were a more or less visible feature of middle-​class and aristocratic life throughout the nineteenth century. Since up to one-​sixth of the population has historically been affected by hearing loss at some stage of their lives, the ubiquity (and therefore effective mundanity) of hearing aids seems easily

in Rethinking modern prostheses in Anglo-American commodity cultures, 1820–1939
Coreen Anne McGuire

also as utilised in the prescription of hearing aids and, as I show in the section on ‘The telephone as hearing aid’, the interwar period featured an explosion of hearing aids based on telephone technologies, which led to the increased medicalisation of deafness as the medical community sought to temper the ‘quack’ hearing aids flooding the market. However, the medicalisation of hearing aids was no simple matter. Such medicalised prescription was complicated by conflicts over categorisation, the status of hearing aids as medical devices and the question of which

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Coreen Anne McGuire

, and the boundaries between hearing loss and deafness changed with improvements to the technology. Historian Michael Kay’s study of telephone use in the nineteenth century has demonstrated that the telephone’s broad inaudibility was one of the main reasons for initial widespread user rejection. 7 For anyone with less than perfect hearing the telephone was inaccessible. This came as a blow to many members of the Deaf community, who had hoped that it could be used like a hearing aid. 8 Subsequently, the first electronic hearing aids were indeed based on basic

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Abstract only
Claire L. Jones

polite society, which depicted disability in terms of personal tragedy, shame and loss, meant that affluent middle-​and upper-​class consumers not only demanded a prosthesis that was functional but also required one indistinguishable from a real body part. Such disguised prostheses provided users with the appearance of ‘normalcy’. The most expensive artificial limbs designed during this period mimicked human limbs in terms of shape and colour, while hearing aids made from fabric, silver and porcelain were disguised as everyday objects, including beards, fans, ornaments

in Rethinking modern prostheses in Anglo-American commodity cultures, 1820–1939
The co-creation of aural technology and disability
Coreen McGuire

-​fertilisation between telephony and hearing assistive technology embedded the connection between hearing loss and telephony in devices such as electronic hearing aids and amplified telephones. My chapter explores how amplified telephony was introduced by the UK’s General Post Office in an attempt to provide ‘hard-​ of-​hearing’ individuals access to telephone communications in the 1920s and 1930s. In its failure to supply a telephone to those with hearing loss too great for its device, however, the Post Office redefined the thresholds of ‘deafness’.1 Here, I explore how, during the

in Rethinking modern prostheses in Anglo-American commodity cultures, 1820–1939
‘Good fit’ in artificial eardrums
Jaipreet Virdi

extending or expanding the auricle or dilating the auditory canal’.11 Historical surveys of hearing-​aid technologies similarly categorise artificial eardrums as ‘inserts’ or ‘invisibles’ designed to increase the sound-​conducting mechanisms of the ear, or as ‘simple devices’ placed with the same category as non-​electric hearing aids. Some users even referred to them as ‘machines’, and entrepreneurs frequently drew connections to the marvels of electricity and communication technologies: artificial eardrums were ‘telephones for the ear’, ‘sound discs’, ‘ear phones’ or

in Rethinking modern prostheses in Anglo-American commodity cultures, 1820–1939
De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté, Sur mes lèvres and De rouille et d’os
Gemma King

its soundtrack around Carla’s perceptions, drawing us into her world without needing too much exposition. The emphasis is on gesture and expression, caught in tight close-ups with a foregrounding of hands and objects that verges on the Bressonian. The opening close-ups of Carla placing her hearing aids discreetly behind her ears, covering them with her hair and

in Jacques Audiard