Artificial arm with detachable hand



This metal artificial arm belonged to Mr Leigh Webb, who lost his arm while working at Woolton Quarry, Liverpool, in 1963. It was crushed by a block of Portland stone. According to his family he received no compensation for the accident - he was offered £500 but refused it as he was advised he should receive £4000. After his accident, Mr Webb continued to be employed by Morrisons, to supervise workers. He also worked in building supervision for the University of Liverpool, the Mersey Tunnel, Tysons and Wimpy. The arm is heavy and made of steel, as Mr Webb was intending to use it to go back to work at the quarry initially. It was manufactured in 1963 and had several attachments (such as a screwdriver, wheelbarrow pusher and a bowling hand) but Mr Webb gave them back as he didn’t use them. Mr Webb owned two prosthetic arms but said that he ‘preferred to do without them’. Over time, prosthetics have become significantly more lightweight and increasingly specialised. In the 60 years since Mr Webb’s arm was made, we’ve seen the development of running blades for athletes, lifelike cosmetic prostheses, and even responsive bionic limbs. As of November 2022, the NHS have been able to start offering bionic arms controlled by electrical brain signals to all eligible patients. Thanks to these ever-changing advancements in assistive technology, individuals can choose exactly what kind of prosthesis works best for them. Mr Webb’s wife also donated another prosthetic arm to the Museum, which had belonged to her mother.