An ear trumpet in mourning.
Wooden legs in Our Mutual Friend.
Charles Manby Smith's essay on wooden legs.
An advertisement for a new form of comfort for invalids, the Bath Chair.
Prosthetic eyes in Trollope's The Bertrams.
The uncanny glass eye in H. G. Wells mimics a real human eye.
Magical devices as prosthetics in Dinah Craik's The Little Lame Prince.
In Bending Over Backwards, Lennard Davis argues that we are currently in an era where the "body is increasingly becoming a module onto which various technological additions can be attached. The by-now routine glasses, contact lenses, and hearing aids are supplemented by birth-control implants, breast implants, penile implants, pacemakers, insulin regulators, monitors and the like." Davis argues that although "we are seen as self-completing, the contemporary body can only be completed by means of consumption" of products ranging from toothpaste to shaving cream (27). The nineteenth-century anticipates this consumerist completion of the body. The century saw enormous technological advances in prosthetics, ranging from increasingly realistic glass eyes to ear trumpets swathed in the latest fashions to Bath chairs mechanized through new systems of springs. The artifacts here explore the material culture of disability and the body in the nineteenth century.