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Project Facade is a website devoted to exploring the origins of facial reconstructive surgery, which began in earnest around 1915 when servicemen were disfigured during the first World War. Techniques such as “pedicles” were used extensively, where a length of skin was made into a bridge from an uninjured area to an injured site until the surgeons were ready to graft the skin permanently. There was also some experimentation with tin-based facial prosthetics.

These methods were largely pioneered by New Zealander Sir Harold Delf Gillies and his surgical team based at Queen Mary’s Hospital in England. Case studies describe the cause of injury, the damage sustained, and show progressive photos through the many surgeries these men underwent. It is fascinating to see the roots of facial reconstruction, but sadly, the primitive methods of the day were unable to do much for some of the servicemen. Some of the case studies are heartbreaking.

Be warned that the site contains some graphic photographs of disfigurement and surgery.