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Additional resources for Devices and Designs: Medical Technologies in Historical Perspective
Bones (like the nervous system) would heal if they were not agitated. This ‘cosmology’ was professionally presented, but was no more precise in its extensions to practice then the ‘principles’ of most crafts. Yet it shaped the practice and its image. Fracture care was linked into an older tradition of ‘orthopaedics’ as bodily education – as the art of making children straight. Patients spent months in splints and special beds. The aim was not just mechanical mending, but restoration of physiological function.
36 Devices and Designs 14 For the latest and most authoritative account see M. Worboys, Spreading Germs: Disease theories and medical practice in Britain, 1865–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 150–92. 15 Cooter, Surgery and Society, p. 36. , pp. 128–32. 17 D. Farnie, The Manchester Ship Canal and the Rise of the Port of Manchester (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1980). 18 T. Cooper, ‘The Early Development of Scientific Research in Industry: the case of Metro Vickers,’ Manchester Regional Historical Review, special number on Science and Technology in the Manchester Region, vol.
Charnley respected and developed craft skills, and he carefully documented the natural history of hips, both natural and artificial, by collecting post-mortem material wherever possible. He mobilized various kinds of analysis, and he rationalized and regularized his surgical procedures, publishing them in unusual detail, with his own explanatory diagrams. His programme was set up to systematize invention, but there was little place for experimental systems beyond test rigs of various kinds, and attempts to assess the reactivity of various material in the body.