Artificial right arm



ID: A brown wooden prosthetic arm bent at the elbow with a brown leather strap on the shoulder. It has no hand attached at the bottom and ends just before the wrist. This wooden artificial arm was worn by Mrs Elsie William Connolly. It has a leather shoulder strap which attached the arm to her body. Her daughter, Mrs Patricia Webb, kindly donated it to the Museum in 1982. Mrs Connolly lost her arm in a laundry accident in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, at the age of 18 in 1913. The accident occurred when other members of staff at the laundry had gone on an outing. As Mrs Connolly hadn’t worked there for very long, she decided not to go. A young boy failed to put down a grill on a starching machine, and the suction from the machine pulled her in, resulting in her losing her arm. According to her daughter, she was put on a laundry basket until a horse ambulance could take her to hospital. Heavy wooden artificial arms like this were eventually replaced by more lightweight materials like metal in the 1920s. This arm was made just before the First World War, after which there were significant new developments in prosthetics. Mrs Connolly later married a man from Ireland, moved to Liverpool, and had four daughters. She wore the artificial arm until her death in 1971. Mrs Webb also donated another prosthetic arm to the Museum, which belonged to her husband.