04 May 2012

A young girl with two prosthetic legs (~1900)

Studio photograph of a young girl wearing a pair of artificial legs. The legs were manufactured by James Gillingham (1839-1924), a boot- and shoemaker based in Chard, Somerset. Gillingham first started making artificial limbs after a local man lost an arm firing a cannon for a celebratory salute in 1863. He then began making prostheses on a permanent basis and Chard eventually became a major centre of the British artificial limb industry. 
I can't help but wonder what her life must have been like. 

From Science and Society Picture Library.


  1. She looks pretty upbeat. Good for her!

  2. Such an angelic face. Full of wonder and enthusiasm.

  3. Seriously, those look like pretty kickin' prosthetics (if you'll excuse the pun). And she does look healthy...I wouldn't have noticed they were prosthetics.


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