1845, English, Object edition: Equipment: Corporal Coles Prosthetic Hand Robert Norman

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Equipment:  Corporal Coles Prosthetic Hand
 
Bookmark: https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/208892762
Physical Description
  • Physical Object
  • Whale bone, metal spools, catgut pulleys, fabric
  • Small "hand size" approximately L16 x W8 x H6.5 cm
Published
  • 1845
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Equipment: Corporal Coles Prosthetic Hand
Creator
  • Robert Norman
Published
  • 1845
Physical Description
  • Physical Object
  • Whale bone, metal spools, catgut pulleys, fabric
  • Small "hand size" approximately L16 x W8 x H6.5 cm
Date or Place
  • Adelaide, Australia
Summary
  • Corporal John Coles, Miner and Sapper, was injured in a parade ground accident. In 1842, while preparing for the second firing of a cannon in a celebratory salute in honour of the birth of the Duke of Cornwall, the gunpowder exploded early and Corporal Coles lost the fingers of his right hand except the thumb, and the top of his left hand forefinger. Colonial Surgeon, James Nash, performed minimal amputation of the damaged areas as Corporal Coles was concerned to not have his entire hand amputated. Robert Hasting Norman, Surgeon Dentist, arrived in Adelaide in 1844, establishing the colony’s first dental practice in Wright Street. A learned gentleman, Robert Norman also carved objects from ivory and bone, exploring mechanical applications with his craft. Governor Grey sponsored the construction of a prosthetic hand by Robert Norman for John Coles. An engraved silver plaque, ‘Presented by His Excellency Governor Grey - Robert Norman Inventor’, is attached to the prosthetic hand. The plaque does not impede on the functionality of the hand. John Coles used the prosthetic hand until his death 1886. Made out of whalebone, it has four fingers and is operated using strings and pulleys. The fingers are flexed by contracting the strings which are connected to a ring on the remaining thumb. The prosthetic hand was reported as being made from ‘sea-cow’, intricately carved to copy details of fingers and nails. The catgut pulleys were interlinked with small spools, carefully worked into the knuckle joints, manouvered by the limited lateral mobility of the only remaining digit, the right thumb, over which a ring was placed which attached to the pulleys. The prosthetic hand was described as ‘beautiful in its mechanism and accurate in its working that Corporal Coles could pick up a button or a sixpence with pleasing facility’. Donated by Mr DW Jordan, Adelaide
  • A silver plaque is attached to the hand is engraved 'Presented by His Excellency Governor Grey - Robert Norman Inventor'
Terms of Use
  • All rights reserved
Language
  • English
Identifier
  • oai:ehive.com:objects/​387275
  • AR#1723

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e.g. test cricket, Perth (WA), "Parkes, Henry"

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public:juliah
2016-11-23 15:37:44.0

See
Ideas cross centuries and change lives
and
Family history connections for more on the history of the Coles hand and its role in creating 3d printed prosthetic hands today