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Bow-frame amputation saw, Europe, 1701-1800

This amputation saw is typical of designs from the 1700s. The blade is held by locking nuts and it has a gilt frame and an ivory handle with ridges for improved grip. Unfortunately for patients, these decorative features provided an ideal environment in which germs could thrive.

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    Glossary: amputation saw

    Saw used for amputation. These tend to be instruments from the past, and were in common usage from c. 1500-1940 in Europe.

    Glossary: amputation

    Removal of part of, or a whole limb by surgery. Used to control pain or the spread of disease in the affected limb.