Artificial arm, below-elbow prosthesis

Made:
1895-1904 in Northampton

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Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Right below elbow prosthesis, made for a lady pianist. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collections
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Science Museum Group Collections
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Science Museum Group Collections
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Science Museum Group Collections
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Science Museum Group Collections
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Right below elbow prosthesis made for a lady pianist, Elizabeth Burton. Blocked leather socket connected by jointed side steels to a long leather upper arm corset with four strap and buckle fastenings. Large wing nut on inner side of elbow, to lock the joint. Shaped wooden oval wrist with detachable wooden hand. Wide spread fingers, the index, middle and ring being shorter than normal, both thumb and little finger tips are padded. This design allowed the wearer to span an octave of a piano and was made by a Mr Royden of Abingdon St, Northampton, c.1904.

The one-time wearer of this very specialised artificial arm was Elizabeth Burton. Born in the 1860s, she became a music teacher based Northampton. Her hand and much of her forearm was removed after she accidently ran a fishbone deep beneath her thumbnail and it became infected. Made by a local surgical instrument maker, it is believed that this prosthesis allowed Elizabeth to continue her musical career. Our records tantalisingly suggest she wore this arm when playing in concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1906.

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Artificial arm

Details

Category:
Orthopaedics
Object Number:
1999-553
Materials:
leather, metal, plastic and wood
type:
artificial arm
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • prosthesis
  • artificial limb
credit:
Richmond Twickenham and Roehampton Healthcare NHS Trust

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