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BARWELL, Richard (1826–1916)

On the Cure of Club-Foot without cutting tendons; and on certian new methods of treating other deformities. Second Edition, greatly enlarged.
London, Robert Hardwicke, 1865.

Second Edition, revised – in great part re-written – with two new chapters added, and the first to be illustrated with original photographs (albumen prints). Barwell’s book is an early example of the use of medical photography and is very rare, especially complete with all the 28 photographs. ”I have thought it desirable to add a number of photographic plates – these illustrate my meaning, and the results of practice perfectly well; but many of them are, as photographs, bad. I am quite aware of their shortcomings, but theyt are unavoidable; patients must be photographed when they come, or not at all, and many of the plates were taken under the most adverse circumstances of light and weather.” (Preface) Richard Barwell opposed the use of tenotomy and favoured his own employment of rubber springs to substitute for the weakened muscles, though he seems to have plagiarized this from the famous orthopaedic mechanic, Henry Heather Bigg, who protested vigorously in his Orthopraxy (1869): ”For more than fifteen years I have applied the elastic force of india-rubber to the treastment of club-foot . . . with the most beneficial results. This plan has recently been made the subject of special work and more of treatment without, however, any acknowledgement as to source from whence it was derived . . . ” Bigg was especially active in providing prothesis for veterans of the Crimean War.

Collation: Pp xx, 231, (1). One leaf of adverts with a conjugate blank inserted in the prelims. With 28 original photographs (numbered I-XXVIII) mounted on 9 plates incl. the frontispiece, and 20 woodcuts in the text.

Binding: Publisher’s faded purple cloth.

References: Gernsheim, Incunabula of British Photographic Literature 1839–1875, No. 281.

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