ww1

Photo credit: Anna Coleman Ladd papers, Archives of American Art, S.I.

Photo credit: Anna Coleman Ladd papers, Archives of American Art, S.I.

ww1 was awful and those soldiers who suffered terrible deformities had little help although there was some cosmetic surgery it was very much in its infancy and bore little resemblance to the work they can do these days. So it must have been amazing for those who suffered facial injuries as result of bomb blasts etc to find the wonderful work undertaken by people such as Anna Coleman Ladd and Francis Derwent Wood they made facial prosthetic s, taking copper they would shape it to the face of the patient and mould it into the desired look and then as the patient wore the piece they would paint until it matched the face of the patient, amazing work and quite inspiring below is  short film showing them at work which I found fascinating as well as truly wonderful work, it is said that even the premises where they worked from was deliberately decorated in a cheerful and bright decor with paintings of gardens and fields of flowers etc because they felt the soldiers had seen enough trauma and here they were to be made to feel good given wine and/or chocolate while waiting and a garden beautifully landscaped with statues for them to walk in.

the eyeball itself is made of glass and set into the prosthetic

the eyeball itself is made of glass and set into the prosthetic

apparently the soldiers would call it the ‘tin noses shop’, there is good article about this amazing work at the source named below here is an excerpt;

Writing in the 1950s, Sir Harold Gillies, a pioneer in the art of facial reconstruction and modern plastic surgery, recalled his war service: “Unlike the student of today, who is weaned on small scar excisions and graduates to harelips, we were suddenly asked to produce half a face.” A New Zealander by birth, Gillies was 32 and working as a surgeon in London when the war began, but he left shortly afterward to serve in field ambulances in Belgium and France. In Paris, the opportunity to observe a celebrated facial surgeon at work, together with the field experience that had revealed the shocking physical toll of this new war, led to his determination to specialize in facial reconstruction. Plastic surgery, which aims to restore both function and form to deformities, was, at the war’s outset, crudely practiced, with little real attention given to aesthetics. Gillies, working with artists who created likenesses and sculptures of what the men had looked like before their injuries, strove to restore, as much as possible, a mutilated man’s original face. Kathleen Scott, a noted sculptress and the widow of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott of Antarctica fame, volunteered to help Gillies, declaring with characteristic aplomb that the “men without noses are very beautiful, like antique marbles.” 

source

 

 

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