Davison’s 1906 Minneapolis City Directory lists five artificial limb companies within the city limits, three of them on Washington Avenue. Competition must have been fierce, judging by this story in the Minneapolis Journal:


Rival Manufacturers Claim the Artificial Limb Left by John Lord.
Who owns the wooden leg found on the body of “Prof.” John Lord, who committed suicide in a Washington avenue hotel last Friday night?
This is a question which Coroner Williams is trying to settle. Two claimants for the artificial limb have called at his office. He has the question under advisement and the leg is carefully locked up at the county morgue.
E.H. Erickson of the Erickson Artificial Limb company of this city claims the leg, alleging that he made the limb and that $5 is still due on the account. He holds this account as a sort of mechanics’ lien and has asked Coroner Williams to turn the leg over to him.
The other claimant for the leg is J.J. Leighton of St. Paul, who claims to have made a contact with Lord for a new limb, in which there was an agreement to turn in the old limb as part payment. The new leg was finished and ready for delivery when Lord committed suicide. Leighton says that he has fulfilled his part of the contract and that the leg belongs to him.
Suicide Came of Good Family – Record in New Richmond.
John Lord, the one-legged Englishman who committed suicide Friday night in a Washington avenue hotel, was in New Richmond, Wis., about five weeks ago. He filled up with whisky and ran amuck, breaking out the plate glass door of a Main street saloon with his cane. Judge Hough sent him to the county jail in Hudson for thirty days, from which institution he was released last Friday morning. From there he said he was coming to Minneapolis to collect $600 insurance, which said was due him from some traveling men’s organization for the loss of his leg. He was a well educated man and was born of English parents in Van Dieman’s land, having been in this country but a few years. He came of a good family there.
Michael J. Dowling and E.H. Erickson

Michael J. Dowling lost both legs and most of one arm to frostbite as a teenager. In 1905, he drove to the Twin Cities from his home in Olivia to visit the State Fair and to obtain new artificial limbs at the E.H. Erickson Artificial Limb Co. Dowling, a former speaker of the Minnesota House and an advocate for the disabled, took Erickson for a spin to show how easily he could maneuver his automobile.

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