16th Century Prosthetics from Ambroise Paré

May 12th, 2013 | Robot

16th Century Prosthetics Ambroise Paré

16th Century Prosthetic Hand and Forearm Ambroise Paré

16th Century Prosthetic Arm Ambroise Paré

And here are a few other illustrations from Dix livres de la chirurgie:

Half-Bath Chair

Mouth Dilator

Cataract Removal Tools

Facial Suture Technique

barbers-poleThe images above are mechanical prosthetics as designed by Ambroise Paré in his book Dix livres de la chirurgie (Ten books of Surgery).  Paré was a French barber surgeon and is considered to be one of the fathers of surgery and modern forensic pathology.  Interesting fact: the barber pole is a vestige of an era when barbers were the primary surgeons and NOT physicians.  The design is a representation of bloody bandages wrapped around a pole.

Paré was the official royal surgeon for kings Henry II, Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III.  He designed a range of surgical instruments and was a leader in surgical techniques and battlefield medicine, especially the treatment of wounds.  He amputated countless limbs during his career as thousands of French cavalrymen were being killed and wounded by enemy arquebuses. The prosthetics above appear quite advanced for the 16th century.  The hand has complex finger movements which modern prosthetics often fail to include.  He also made original artificial eyes from enameled gold, silver, porcelain and glass.



[via The Public Domain Review]

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