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Electrotherapy machine, England, 1860-1900

  • Science Museum, London
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view Electrotherapy machine, England, 1860-1900


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Credit: Electrotherapy machine, England, 1860-1900. Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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This ornate machine looks like an elaborately made clock but is actually used for electrotherapy. This involved the delivering of electric shocks to the patient for its supposed therapeutic value. It was very popular during the 1800s and was claimed to help a wide variety of illnesses, including neuralgia, asphyxia, sciatica, toothache, rheumatism, and tic douloureux – which are painful nervous spasms in the face. The electric current is created by electromagnetic induction. The machine could have been used by doctors, professionally qualified or not, but was also intended for home use. maker: Green, John Place made: England, United Kingdom

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