Meet some of the most iconic people and athletes of our time: The man who invented the bionic leg; The boxer who became a global icon; The man responsible for a polio vaccine; The hockey star who won the Stanley Cup; The Olympic medalist who won gold in the men’s 200-metre freestyle.
But perhaps none has inspired as much of a social media backlash as the man who became the face of America’s “bionic leg.”
Born Joseph Joseph Crenshaw in the village of Woburn, England, in 1946, he spent most of his life in the United Kingdom.
His father, the former president of the Royal Aeronautical Society, had a heart condition that forced him to leave his native England for Britain.
His mother, who was English, had moved with her family to Australia and married a man who was Scottish, before settling in Melbourne, Australia.
But when he was four years old, he was told that his father’s illness was terminal and that his only chance to live was to have a “bionics leg.”
The leg had been developed by British inventor Arthur Collins, a former head of the United Nations who had also invented a bionic eye.
The limb was designed to be attached to a person’s forearm by a specially designed tube, and was intended to be used for lifting and carrying.
The tube was made of a flexible plastic that was inflated to provide more force.
At the time, the device was still considered a prototype.
Collins had designed the bionics leg in 1964, but the project was abandoned after two years because of a lack of funding.
In the years following the cancellation, Crenshaws mother moved to the United States, where she started a career in public relations and eventually found work in the health industry.
Her story is told in a new book, “Bionic Leg: The Biomechanical Body,” which will be released next month.
Crenshaw grew up in a middle-class family in the North London suburb of Wandsworth, where his father, who worked in the civil service, and his older sister, who lived with her mother, were both doctors.
Crens mother, Helen, had worked as a nurse in the NHS for years before moving to Australia with her young children, where they were taken in by a social worker who later became his wife.
She and Crenschaws younger sister, Joan, were all adopted by a local family.
After his parents divorced, Creschaws first job was working in a local shoe store, but it was during this time that he began developing the idea for the “biotonic leg.”
In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald in 2011, he said the idea was inspired by his uncle, the late sports great Maurice Green, who developed the knee brace for rugby players.
“When Maurice Green came back from a trip to the Bahamas, he had a knee brace he could wear, so that he could get a knee in the game,” Crensdaws father said.
“The first thing he did was get this knee brace made by a company called Thermo-Levy.
They made it for a little guy like me.
I had to be a little bit of a tinkerer to get it.”
Crenshays bionic arm and leg came into being when he started playing sports, and after two months of testing and testing, he took part in a rugby league game at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
“When I was about to come off the bench, the coach came up and said, ‘You’re doing something amazing, you’re a Bionic Leg guy,'” he recalled.
“I said, OK, I’m going to give it a try, but I had a feeling it was going to be different.
So I took it out and I played for about five minutes.”
He scored the winning try in a match against the Western Bulldogs, and then the rest is history.
“I felt like I was getting closer and closer to the goal, so I went back to the doctor and I said, I want to get a bit stronger, and they said, no, no.
You’re going to have to go on with it,” he said.
Cresheys bionic hand was created from a piece of plastic that he and a friend had cut from a pair of old jeans.
The design was inspired in part by the American designer Ken Livingstone, who had developed the “crotch” and “neck” prostheses for disabled people.
Cheshire’s bionic limb was used to play rugby league in Melbourne in 2008.
“The idea that I could go down the pitch, touch the ball and go out there, and have my hand there, it’s been something that has kind of stuck with me ever since,” Creshaws father told ABC News.
“That’s what I think about the bionically-army, and that’s what has really inspired me. To