Corporal Coles’ prosthetic hand
Under the heading ‘Melancholy Accident’, The South Australian Register of Saturday 16 April 1842, reported:
A salute intended to be fired on Monday last was abruptly put a stop to, in consequence of the explosion of a carronade while a party of Sappers and Miners were in the act of re-loading it … Private Coles had the fingers of both hands so much lacerated, that their amputation became indispensable.
Robert Norman, heard of Coles’ plight and made South Australia’s first prosthetic hand. The cost was borne by Sir George Grey. The hand bears the inscription ‘Presented by his Excellency Governor Grey. Robert Norman Inventor.’The Adelaide Observer, 6 September 1845 said it was
‘such near approach to perfection, that the wearer will be able to help himself in every sense of the word, deal a pack of cards, hand a plate, lift a glass of wine, and may, with the aid of a suitable glove “palm off” his deputy fist as the real one.’
The hand inspired the production of the world’s first 3D-printed body-powered partial hand prosthesis. see ABC article