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Union soldier Samuel Decker


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In 1862 Union soldier Samuel Decker was reloading his gun when it misfired and blew off half of both his arms. By 1865 he had designed and overseen the building of a set of state-of-the-art prosthetic limbs "hitherto unrivaled for ingenuity and utility." With his new arms, he was able to feed and clothe himself as well as perform even more challenging tasks such as picking up objects as small as a pin and regaining the ability to write. In 1867 he was invited to the Army Medical Museum where he sat for photos so that he and his invention could be documented. 
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