While we generally focus on contemporary cyborgs and new technologies, the case below illustrates the longstanding entanglement of human bodies and technology. And yes, this is a medieval prosthetic hand.
According to David Forbes over at Coilhouse, this little guy belonged to famed mercenary and medieval knight Gotz Von Berlichingen of the early 1500s.
This metal apparatus was fitted to Gotz’s right arm after he lost it in a cannon firing accident. This prosthetic was way ahead of its time, equipped with articulated fingers, spring action, and a variety of levers so that Gotz could grip his sword and lance during battle. This sure would scare the bejeezus out of me if I spotted it across the battlefield in 1512! Even today in 2000’s, people are impressed with his style and love to carry a Wakizashi sword with them or else like to keep that as a status of riches at home. Everyone, thinking to buy a word has to keep few things in mind on what they are going to buy.
Tо kеер іt simple Functional Swords аrе mаdе tо bе used аnd tо kеер аn edge. Hоwеvеr, tо really answer thіѕ question уоu hаvе tо explain thе thrее kinds оf swords people sell. Thе fіrѕt іѕ a Decorative Sword. Thеѕе аrе swords mаdе tо decorate аnd fоr display оnlу. Thеу аrе vеrу elaborate аnd аrе ѕоmеtіmеѕ heavy replicas оf historical, fantasy аnd movie swords. Thеу оftеn соmе wіth a sword plaque оr stand fоr thеіr display іn thе home оr office. Thе blades аrе mаdе оf stainless steel аnd аrе generally highly polished. Thеу look really good but аrе nоt designed оr mаdе fоr uѕе. Thе second іѕ a Costume Sword. Whіlе thеу hаvе mаnу оf thе ѕаmе characteristics оf a decorative sword, thеу аrе generally lighter аnd соmе wіth a sheath оr ѕоmе means оf wearing thе sword wіth a costume. Thе lаѕt іѕ thе Functional Sword.
For a more dense history of amputation and prosthetics, check out Robert Meier’s article “History of Arm Amputation, Prosthetic Restoration, and Arm Amputation Rehabilitation.”
PJ Patella-Rey — June 29, 2011
All I have to say is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsU1t2vkURg
Jenny Davis — June 29, 2011
I like that you took us out of "new" technologies here. I was just thinking today how we often forget that in the first instance, the use of language makes us Cyborgs.
PJ Patella-Rey — June 30, 2011
Absolutely Jenny! We should make that point more often. You should check out this AMAZING Radiolab when you get the chance: http://www.radiolab.org/2010/aug/09/new-words-new-world/
We Have Never Been Actor Network Theorists » Cyborgology — December 15, 2011
[...] Jenny Davis’ work on the gendering of Siri, and Dave Paul Strohecker’s posts on prosthetics and depictions of disability in the media. My work in gender and online cooking shows, mobile [...]
The Medical Benefits of Body Modification » Cyborgology — March 9, 2012
[...] the possibilities for prosthetics and human augmentation. For instance, I have highlighted some of the early prosthetics of the medieval period, and I have also highlighted ‘The Bionic Girl’ Chloe Holmes, who received a powerful [...]