Rethinking modern prostheses
contributes new insights into the historical experiences of disability through detailed exploration of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century foundations of modern prosthetic industries and its many complexities. Consumers have responded to prosthetic technologies in many different ways throughout history - while some have used them to assist everyday living, others have rejected such devices and the ways in which they 'fix' their impaired body to the medical profession's view of 'normalcy'. The diversity of lived experiences of prosthetic technologies is intricately tied to the co-development of medicine, modern industrial capitalism and markets in the nineteenth century. In this collection, essays are presented by scholars from a variety of historical sub-disciplines to explore the historic processes of commodification surrounding different prostheses, including artificial limbs, hearing devices, amplified telephones, wigs and dentures, and the involvement of previously neglected companies, medical practitioners, veterans, businessmen, wives, mothers and others in these processes. Essays shed particular light on a little-explored avenue in the history of disability: the significance of company investment in intellectual property protection. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, just as today, patenting and copyright enhanced product commercial viability. By drawing on a range of source material including trade literature, artefacts, patent records and works of fiction, the collection outlines some of the ways in which the expanding industries of prostheses and assistive devices of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries formed a precursor to those we recognise today, but also provides an important contribution to the emerging field of disability history. With a focus on the historical co-development of prostheses, medicine and markets, Rethinking modern prostheses
will be essential reading for scholars interested in cultural, literary, social, political, medical, economic and commercial history.
--This text refers to the hardcover