Bert Amend & the One-Armed Musicians




The man on the right in all four images is Bert Amend, who, as a shake mill worker, lost an arm at the turn of the twentieth century. Determined not to give up music, he ultimately invented several attachments and devices to enable himself and similarly handicapped players to play many different instruments (he was granted a patent for a chord-fingering device for the piano). During the early ‘teens his trio was billed as “The Greatest Novelty Musical Act in Vaudeville.” Eventually adding more players — all one-armed individuals — the group played violins, cellos, guitars, piano and drums.