c.1850-1910: Artificial Arm

“Made from steel and brass, the elbow joint on this artificial arm can be moved by releasing a spring, the top joint of the wrist rotates and moves up & down, and the fingers can curl up and straighten out. The wearer may have disguised it with a glove. Among the most common causes of amputation throughout the 1800s were injuries received as a result of warfare.”

- Science Museum

13 Responses

  1. Ian

    What a strangely beautiful thing. Don’t think I’d be giving my left arm for one any time soon though.

  2. Chris

    Amazing piece of engineering, reckon it works better than most modern versions… elegant fingers that can grab?, makes you wonder.

  3. Mr Twist

    Will I see it on 4 rooms on channel 4 , the female would give her right arm to purchase LOL.

  4. Finn

    Neat looking arm. Sounds like it would be almost completely non functional. Any chance you’ve got a link to more info?

    By way of comparison here’s where things are today:

    While the indications have stayed the same the technology has not.

  5. Tyler Durden

    It said the elbow and fingers can be moved – as in repositioned. I don’t think the wearer could manipulate it with his mind, only with his other hand.

  6. John R.

    I just wanted to take this moment in time to thank everyone who’s commented so far for not using the term “steampunk”.

    • Sam

      “Moment in time”, as opposed to, “moment in…”, what? There are ONLY moments “in time”, a moment can not define any other thing. Sorry, I hate wordiness and redundancy, it just bugs me.

  7. Adrian

    Are you sure this is from the Science Museum. I was at the Wellcome Collection yesterday and they have the exact same one…

  8. Mabelescent

    Finally … !

    Evidence supporting my theory that 19th-century amputees suffered from higher-than-normal rates of nosepicking.


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