Finger stretching for pianists and guitarists

The Kircher Society report here about this alarming Victorian device, designed to stretch the hands of aspiring pianists: "According to one source, Robert Schumann permanently wrecked his right hand and ended his career using an early version of one of these contraptions. (Other sources blame a botched surgical procedure aimed at slicing the tendon between the third and fourth fingers)" It's good to know that finger stretching is still practised today, according to eBay item #7424167048. The principle is the same, even if the design (a kit of rubber balls) and the marketing has changed: "NOT FOR USE DURING PLAY! CHOOSE FROM 3 STYLES ENVY GREEN, PUPLE PASSION AND SUNBURST"

Stupid, stupid, stupid....
I want to know if the Victorians were plagued with unsolicited mail advertising finger stretching devices back then.
I had to get wrist surgery a few years back due to a torn ligament (I had a bone removed, 9 pins put in, yada yada) and my hand surgeon told me that people used to get surgery to have fingers as flexible as mine. Too bad I dont play piano, guitar, or violin. I guess I'm squandering a gift, eh?
I have a damaged tendon in my right hand, which closes the thumb. I injured falling while skiing and the handle of the stock was driven into my hand.

Can be a problem when playing guitar with a pick for extended time and piano is not so bad. My surgeon considered surgery but recommended rubber bands to exercise instead.

For my left hand I use a exercise device you can buy in most guitar stores. They really work.
As a gynecologist, I really appreciate this device.
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