Recycling, Part II

19 May

So, what does one do with antique leg braces? I mean, really. When I am old, and have to move into a tiny apartment in a retirement home, how do I dispose of them prior to the move?

Ebay. I google “vintage leg braces.” Six results found. Three of them are actual old leg braces. One is a pair of leg braces, as in two separate leg braces, with the shoes attached. I think mine are cooler, since it is a one-piece mechanism. The attached shoes, though…that’s kind of cool. The seller of these leg braces is asking $149 and states, “Thank goodness for modern technology because I can’t imagine having to wear these braces.” The seller goes on to say, “These are a very cool display or teaching piece. Don’t hesitate to bid, for these items are getting very scarce and hard to find in this condition especially in a pair. One of a kind to own.” Technically, uh, that would be TWO of a kind to own.

But, a teaching piece??? What in the world can you teach with leg braces? You can’t teach anything with these, except maybe medical history. Aha! That’s it! A medical museum might want my leg braces. I google “orthopedic medical museum.”

I get 3,680,000 results in .14 seconds. Wow. This is going to be challenging. The first result is a special exhibit in 2007 called “Beyond Broken Bones: The Story of Orthopedics and Prosthetics.” Well, I am five years too late to donate to that. Looked interesting, though. I would have like to have seen that exhibit in Chicago. It looks at the history of orthopedic treatments dating back to ancient Egypt. Maybe some braces with hieroglyphics on them?

The second result is a link to the medical museum at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. They collect medical artifacts. Hey, maybe they’d want these braces. Then I look under the museum’s “collecting objectives.” The first sentence is, “The Medical Museum collects items pertinent to the history of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the state of Iowa, and the Midwest.” So, were medical treatments in the Midwest all that different from the medical treatments in the South, where I was treated? How strange! I am going to have to look at my braces again. Maybe that leather didn’t come from a cow, but from a possum.

Okay, time to refine my search. I google “orthopedic medical museum NC.” The top result is the “Country Doctor Museum.” It is owned by East Carolina University. Their requirements for accepting donations are that the items “support its purpose of preserving the history and cultural heritage of rural healthcare professionals in the United States.”

Hmm, I grew up in a city. My braces were manufactured out of steel and leather, not constructed out of oak tree limbs and honeysuckle vines. Mine are state-of-the-art for that time. I am pretty sure they were city braces.

A few other clicks leads me to more dead ends. I guess the bird feeder idea isn’t so bad after all. I’ll check with Howdy Doody to see if he approves.



© S. G. Hunter and Banjogrrldiaries, 2012-2017


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