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Child size walking aids, Sheffield, England, 1970-1985

To be used by a child, this pair of walking aids was collected from the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital in Alton, Hampshire, England. Founded in 1908, the hospital originally specialised in treating children with polio and tuberculosis of the bone. These diseases can cause the leg bones to develop incorrectly, so assistance is needed when walking. The hospital closed in 1996. Made from metal with rubber on each of the four feet, the walking aids were produced by Ellis, Son & Paramore.

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Glossary: walking aid

A generic name given to a variety of tools to be held in the hand and used for support in walking, where the stick is usually held in the stronger hand. In addition to their use for people with weakened muscles, walking sticks also have become widely used by hikers, and have a limited association with Orthadox eccleasiastical bishops.

Glossary: tuberculosis

An infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium first identified by Robert Koch in 1882. The disease usually affects the lungs first, and is accompanied by a chronic cough.

Glossary: polio

An infectious disease affecting the central nervous system. Affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the polio virus enters the blood stream.