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Leg prosthesis for a young child, United States, 1950

Made of wood, leather and steel this artificial leg was made for a young child with a short right leg and unstable hip. The child’s leg was placed inside a leather lace-up corset. This connected to a wooden shin, rigid ankle and felt foot. Adjustable side steels allowed for lengthening as the child grew. It was made by American company Hanger in 1950. It was donated by Roehampton Healthcare NHS Trust. Several manufacturers set up workshops at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton, which was the main centre for limb-fitting during both World Wars.

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Glossary: prostheses

Artificial body parts, or materials inserted into tissue for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic effect. Prostheses can be functional (artificial arms and legs), or cosmetic (artificial eye).

Glossary: artificial leg

A device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body.