Artificial legs, Roehampton, England, 1949

Made:
1949 in Roehampton
maker:
Hanger Orthopaedic Group, Inc

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

First pair of lower limb prostheses supplied to a boy 2¼ years old. He was born with complete absence of both lower limbs. The sockets are made of certalmid and fitted with round peg ends. Made by Hanger on 25 April 1949. (Weight: 9 oz 255 gm).

Artificial limb manufacturer Hanger was founded by James Edward Hanger. He was the first amputee of the American Civil War. He constructed himself an artificial leg made of whittled barrel staves with a hinge at the knee. He was then commissioned to manufacture the "Hanger Limb” for wounded Civil War veterans. He founded the J. E. Hanger Company and patented the artificial leg. The company is now known as Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc. It still manufactures artificial limbs.

Hanger created this prosthesis for a two year-old born with both lower limbs missing. It was made in 1949 in two separate parts held by leather straps. These adjusted to fit around the child’s front and back as he ‘sat’ in the prosthesis. Movement was possible. However, the prosthesis was intended to get the child used to being upright.

Details

Category:
Orthopaedics
Object Number:
1999-485
Materials:
Certalmid and leather
type:
artificial leg
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • prosthesis
  • artificial limb
credit:
Richmond Twickenham and Roehampton Healthcare NHS Trust