King Of Greece Shows Enthusiasm For American Prosthetics
Lloyd Brown *
King Paul I of Greece was only one of the many important persons who visited the U.S. Prosthetic Exhibit during the recent World Fair conducted in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The United Slates Pavilion made up one section of the 25th International Fair held this fall in Greece. Many of this country's largest manufacturers exhibited their latest products including American machinery, automobiles, hand power tools, color TV, household appliances, etc., etc. A similar fair was conducted at about the same time in Vienna, and these are customary events in other important cities in past years.
For the first time in history, the U.S. Department of Commerce included Prosthetic Devices, and these were shown under the heading "Rehabilitation Of The Handicapped."
Mr. Jerry Leavy, well known bi-lateral arm amputee of the A.J. Hosmer Corporation, was appointed Technician-In-Charge of this exhibit. The latest products of various U.S. Manufacturers were on display. McCann, Tenendaun, Sierra. Dorrance and Hosmer were among those presenting displays of their newest products.
The Fair was opened from August 29th to September 29th. Final and exact attendance figures are now being compiled, but they will exceed one half million people. More than 100.000 people attended during the first six days, 85,000 people attended during one Sunday alone. American day was celebrated on September 10th with about 400 honored guests present, who were greeted by U.S. Consul General, Robert S. Folsom. All were highly-impressed with the demonstration given by Jerry Leavy during closed sessions for these important persons. Despite heavy rain, King Paul 1 of Greece visited the U.S. Pavilion on September 9th and was greeted by American Ambassador, Elis O. Briggs, Consul General, Robert S. Folsom and other U.S. Officials. The King was particularly impressed with demonstrations of Prosthetic Devices by Jerry Leavy. "This is perfectly astounding," King Paul said of Leavy's performance. He told Jerry that he would send the Queen around to see this demonstration as she was highly interested in helping the war casualties of Greece.
The newspapers were amazed with the U.S. Prosthetic Pavilion and published pictures on the front pages of their leading papers showing Jerry at work and also greeting the King. The U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington was very enthused with the Prosthetics Department and wrote Jerry on September 15th, "We were certainly pleased here in Washington when we received the opening day cable from Mr. DeKalb which stated: "The Prosthetics and Medical Exhibit headed by Jerry Leavy is without question one of the all time crowd stoppers in any fair ever held under OITF Direction. Literally continuous mobs of open eyed Greeks watched in amazement the almost unbelievable demonstration of Jerry Leavy. Many other firms manufacturing Prosthetics and Sensory Aids contributed to the great success of this exhibit."
In addition to the full month that the Fair was opened, it was necessary for Jerry Leavy to spend two additional weeks in Greece organizing the opening and to help with the official closing of the meeting. Jerry was on duty seven days per week for the entire time of the Fair, and his hours started at 8:30 A.M. each morning and continued to 9:30 P.M. each evening. During these hours he explained, through Greek interpreters, all products on display and at regular intervals he conducted a demonstration of his American prosthesis in action. The ease with which he handled a glass of water, the telephone, light switches, and other everyday items truly amazed the crowd. He then removed his necktie, coat and shirt to demonstrate his ease in handling clothes.
Jerry Leavy has worked hard at this assignment and deserves much credit from our entire profession for the excellent manner in which he has represented the entire United States. The enthusiasm shown by our government officials is quite remarkable, and we add our own thanks for a job well done.