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Advert for Harness' "Electropathic Belts" which helps weak backs, cures debilities, hysteria, nervousness, sleeplessness, rheumatism, sciatica, lumbago, torpid liver and kindred ailments. Available from The Medical Battery Co. Ltd. 52 Oxford Street, London.

C. B. Harness

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Free to use with attribution CC BYCredit: Wellcome Collection
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This is a full colour, chromolithograph magazine insert (a single sheet advertisement printed separately then bound in with the magazine at the publisher's) issued in about 1890 by the Electropathic and Zander Institute (which offered electricity based therapies, founded by Cornelius Bennett Harness in 1885), based above the Medical Battery Company’s showrooms at 52, Oxford Street, London, both of which are illustrated towards the foot of the advertisement. It advertises their Electropathic Belts. Electricity was something new and strange to the general public and was seized upon in many ways for commercial and therapeutic purposes. The belts were supposed to generate “new life and vigor… for weak men, for delicate women” as well as cure “nervousness, debility, sleeplessness, rheumatism, sciatica, lumbago, torpid liver, organic weakness and kindred ailments” but actually produced no sensation whatsoever, despite testimonies from Dr. Herbert Tibbits and Dr. Arthur Harries on the reverse. They were supposed to be charged by being plugged into a device incorporating a magnet. A combination of disreputable retail practices and the fact that their electropathic belts did not work, increasingly embroiled the Company in litigation until a compulsory winding up order was handed to them in 1894.

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You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Advert for Harness' "Electropathic Belts" which helps weak backs, cures debilities, hysteria, nervousness, sleeplessness, rheumatism, sciatica, lumbago, torpid liver and kindred ailments. Available from The Medical Battery Co. Ltd. 52 Oxford Street, London. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY


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