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

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.

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