The facial prosthetics of World War I

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  • Published on:  Thursday, November 8, 2018
  • Why World War I's wounded needed a sculptor.Subscribe to our channel! War I’s horrors not only resulted in death, but severe disfigurement. When plastic surgeons were unable to heal the wounded, a unique solution came in play: sculpting.Facial prostheses in World War I were a new solution to a difficult problem, and sculptor and writer Anna Coleman Ladd led these efforts for the American Red Cross in France. She made more than 150 masks for the wounded in an effort to provide some semblance of normalcy after their severe injuries.These masks were made by making casts of the wounded faces, and then sculpting restored faces from that. Those sculptures were then used as a cast for thin copper-plated attachments, which were then attached to the wounded soldier’s face and painted. Though the process wasn’t restorative, it did provide some comfort to the wounded.That experience shaped Anna Coleman Ladd’s art as well. When she returned to America, she was willing to depict the horrors of war in her War Memorial, as well as the possibility for a new and better day is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out our full video catalog: Vox on Facebook: Twitter:
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  • Fuc I dropped My Spaghetti

    Fuc I dropped My Spaghetti

     9 months ago +4131

    So is this where those mustache glasses nose things come from?

  • Yishkah's dream

    Yishkah's dream

     9 months ago +3703

    Impressive plastic surgery for that time period

  • Rea Kariz

    Rea Kariz

     9 months ago +9148

    The ones who want war obviously don't know what it really means. The ones who have been in a war know the value of peace.

  • Hunter Cihal

    Hunter Cihal

     9 months ago +1021

    My great granduncle fought in the Great War. My dad said one day while watching football in the 70s that he pulled out a small piece of shrapnel from his leg... He carried that around in his leg for 50 years before it randomly came out..

  • Hunter Cihal

    Hunter Cihal

     9 months ago +1859

    Btw World War One ended 100 years ago on November 11th. Kindof amazing.

  • Jun Han Tham

    Jun Han Tham

     9 months ago +4468

    Never again should such a tragedy like this happen. Oh, the stupidity of war!

  • Hemp


     9 months ago +1823

    I love the way vox tells history. They really make it a joy to learn about our past.

  • Vardhanam Daga

    Vardhanam Daga

     9 months ago +3975

    Vox is one channel which makes me feel if you have the right mindset, then quality content just keeps on churning out!

  • Lodfield Kerman

    Lodfield Kerman

     9 months ago +630

    Those WWI wounded soldiers are known in France as 'gueules cassées', or 'broken faces', and giving them back their faces was one significant aspect of post war reconstruction. Their sheer number was one of the reasons everyone thought never again would there be a war in Europe.

  • Enthused Norseman

    Enthused Norseman

     9 months ago +757

    This is a bit of an aside, but I couldn't help thinking that this is the exact kind of story you make an Oscar-bait drama movie out of. It'd be a damn good one, too.

  • Kurt Yarish

    Kurt Yarish

     9 months ago +517

    The imagery and atmosphere of this video is absolutely horrifying... and I love it. Solidly sets the tone.

  • Southern Meta

    Southern Meta

     9 months ago +951

    Wow this was truly interesting. Sharing with my adult history club NOW!

  • U K

    U K

     9 months ago +226

    Vox is more History channel than History channel

  • Corntal


     9 months ago +444

    War can be devastating. But what happened to these men, are horrible. No man should have to hide their face, or identity. It really is beyond devastating.

  • If you can't meme, you can't dream

    If you can't meme, you can't dream

     9 months ago +151

    WW1 is so sad. Such a cruel thing. There's a thing going on in England right now where a guy literally handstitched a small wooden body for every British soldier that died in the Somme. Really sad powerful stuff. War is hell.

  • SideNote


     9 months ago +624

    Make more videos on World Wars. I like your videos on history.

  • Blyat Blyatrakov

    Blyat Blyatrakov

     9 months ago +408

    Imagine how terrifying it must be to be in the trenches of Verdun for the first time

  • duhfireangel -

    duhfireangel -

     9 months ago +115

    These almost remind me of those “disguise” glasses. You know, the ones cartoon characters wear when they need a disguise. They are pretty much the same. I wonder if this is where they came from. They seem very similar

  • DonPacific Bobcat9er

    DonPacific Bobcat9er

     9 months ago +63

    All of these scarred men who lived the Great War, they are all gone now. We can do nothing for them anymore, save remember not what they did in life, but how they lived their lives

  • Ferdinand Foch

    Ferdinand Foch

     9 months ago +162

    The Great War channel has an interesting video on the same subject that goes into detail on the development of prosthesis and surgery throughout the war.