As the world recognizes the centennial of one of the deadliest events in world history, we bring you one of the most touching–and devastating–moments of them all. As World War One came at a time of mass industrialization, soldiers were effectively test dummies to the first devices that comprised modern warfare.
Countless soldiers were dismembered, disfigured and killed at the hands of these new machines, which placed a huge demand on surgeons and artists alike to work together to forge solutions for those who survived but were unrecognizable. One of the first was the introduction of the face mask, as seen above. Interestingly enough, it was at a time of unspeakable tragedy and necessity–not an influx of demands by a vain elite–that what is considered to be modern plastic surgery really took off, with surgeons providing veterans a face that their loved ones might recognize when they returned home from the trenches.
To read more about the medical innovations that were spawned out of World War One, check out our article on it.