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Medical equipment, induction coils, and quackery

Quackery, The Electrical Snake Oil

Quackery, The Electrical Snake Oil


Image of MEDICAL COIL FOR METRONOME, 1950's

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MEDICAL COIL FOR METRONOME, 1950's

For use with item No A1557 Metronome unit. Used for skin complaints , similar to the modern 'Tens' machine.

Donated by Mr David and Deborough Taylor

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A1557

Image of METRONOME UNIT, 1950's

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METRONOME UNIT, 1950's

Used with the item A1557 above. Two reservoirs in front of the unit are normally filled with Mercury. After winding up the clockwork motor, and connecting to Item A1557 Induction coil and high voltage generator the pendulum is set in motion, this supplies the high voltage to the patient in pulse form having previously attached electrodes to the victim. They were used for medical complaints such as skin disorders.

Donated by Mr David and Deborough Taylor

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A1558

Image of WESTERN ELECTRIC AUDIOMETER 2-A, 1920's

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WESTERN ELECTRIC AUDIOMETER 2-A, 1920's

First patented in 1914 this audiometer is used for measuring the sensitivity of hearing.

On the lid is a label which reads 'Licensed as an Audiometer used only for plotting curves for hearing sensitivity'. The frequency of the tone heard is selected by the switches to the rear behind the sensitivity knob which is marked in decibels. A meter to the left is provided for checking the batteries which powers a WECO or 'Peanut' valve (see Item A0614), as part of the circuitry. The earpiece is on the lid as well as a hand held push button for the subject to indicate when they had heard the sound.

Donated by John Barnes

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A1485

Image of ARDENTE HEARING AID, 1940's

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ARDENTE HEARING AID, 1940's

Early hearing aid using 3 miniature valves, driving a headphone from an internal microphone.
The company was formed in 1919 and sold Hearing Aids imported from the continent. The company started to manufacture their own and the name 'Ardente' was first used by them in 1937/9.
They also made alarm systems.

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A0566

Image of LADIES EARPIECE, 1930's

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LADIES EARPIECE, 1930's

A Hearing Aid for Ladies, designed so the hair would not be disturbed.
Often seen in Churches, for the hard of hearing.

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A0146

Image of RADIOSTAT MEDICAL COIL, 1930's

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RADIOSTAT MEDICAL COIL, 1930's

Medical coil with glass electrodes.
Seen as an early 'Tens' machine.
This would be plugged into the mains, using Alternating or Direct Current.

Direct Currant was available up until the late 30's. and beyond.

A vibrator coil, similar to a door bell, drives a larger coil in the probe unit, producing a high voltage, which was applied via evacuated or gas filled glass tools. See Crookes tubes in the scientific section.
Used for treating skin complaints such as eczema.
Also see similar item A1268.

WARNING These units are connected directly to the mains and are dangerous.

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A0873

Image of AJAX VIOLET RAY GENERATOR, 1920's

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AJAX VIOLET RAY GENERATOR, 1920's

A hand-held high voltage coil feeds radio energy into a low-pressure gas electrode. The energy is capacitively coupled into the human body, providing warmth via diathermy. At the same time, the gas discharge creates ozone and ultraviolet light, which were said to be effective in many skin diseases.

The equipment produced heat by diathermy, ozone and ultraviolet light.
See similar Item A0873.

WARNING These units are connected directly to the mains and are dangerous.

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A1268

Image of K,SCHALL MEDICAL INDUCTION COIL, 1900's

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K,SCHALL MEDICAL INDUCTION COIL, 1900's

Expensive shocking machine owned by Doctors for helping with skin ailments.
Complete with accessories.

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A0133

Image of PULVELEC MEDICAL INDUCTION COIL, 1930's

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PULVELEC MEDICAL INDUCTION COIL, 1930's

Coil for medical use.
They work by two coils, one with a smaller number of turns but of greater size of wire, surrounded by another of much greater turns but of smaller diameter wire, inside the centre winding is a core of iron at the end of which is a piece of metal, attached to a make and break contact which interrupts the supply to the centre winding, exactly as in an electric bell.
The result is an transfer of power from the centre winding to the outer, with a proportional change in voltage to the number of turns, i.e from a small voltage you can create a very high voltage, but at much lower current.

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A0130

Image of RADIONICS MACHINE , 1950's

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RADIONICS MACHINE , 1950's

This object has many switches and dials and purports to apply different electrical stimuli to the body to cure a myriad of different diseases; when the curator opened the box there was nothing inside!
This Machine was developed by George De La Warr 1904-1969.
Like Homoeopathy, Radionics is a 'Lay' movement similar to 'Dowsing'.

Bruce Hammond Collection

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A1186

Image of OVERBECK'S REJUVENATOR, 1930's

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OVERBECK'S REJUVENATOR, 1930's

The Overbeck's Rejuvenator is no more than two, or four 1.5 volt batteries connected to the tools. The tools consist of two rods and two combs.

We consider this as part of the Quackery Collection.

Bruce Hammond Collection

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A1203

Image of WHITES ELECTRIC COMB AND BRUSH, 1928

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WHITES ELECTRIC COMB AND BRUSH, 1928

'Electricity gives life giving properties to the hair right down to the roots' according to the instructions, one 3 volt battery can do all this?. Just switch the unit on and comb 5 minutes in the morning and 7 minutes at night. The Brush attachment cost five shillings and sixpence. Part of the Quackery collection.

Bruce Hammond Collection

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A1195

Image of THE ELECTROPOISE (Part of the Quackery Collection), 1910's

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THE ELECTROPOISE (Part of the Quackery Collection), 1910's

Hercules Sanche was the inventor of the Electropoise (shown) and the Oxydonor, both claiming to do the same thing.

The device was very simple, consisting of a chrome or nickel plated sealed metal cylinder. If opened the contents could be sand or carbon, or in most cases nothing at all. Cloth wrapped wires led from each end with a metal plate of copper or aluminium attached to the ends of the cylinder.

Users of diaduction (a word coined by Sanche to describe the so called benefits of oxygen being absorbed through the skin) placed the metal plates on their body with elastic bands and placed the cylinders in a bowl of water.

In 1915 the US Post Office prevented Dr Sanche’s gadgets from passing through the mail system, this did not stop his production of many Quackery items. He moved around the country avoiding prosecution for 33 years. In 1952 he was still operating in Florida.

Bruce Hammond Collection

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A1187

Image of LARGE 18 INCH INDUCTION COIL, or RUHMKORFF COIL, 1900's

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LARGE 18 INCH INDUCTION COIL, or RUHMKORFF COIL, 1900's

Electromagnetic induction was discovered by Michael Faraday (1791-1867) in 1831. Nicolas Callan (1799-1864) invented the induction coil in 1836 . They were used for medical complaints such as skin disorders and to power X ray machines. Marconi used one for his experiments prior to developing his transmitter system for the first transatlantic transmission from Poldhu in Cornwall. Also they were used in Spark Transmitters for the next 30 years.
The coil section of this unit measures 18 inches.
They work by two coils, one with a smaller number of turns but of greater size of wire, surrounded by another of much greater turns but of smaller diameter wire, inside the centre winding is a core of iron at the end of which is a piece of metal, attached to a make and break contact which interrupts the supply to the centre winding, exactly as in an electric bell. The result is a transfer of power from the centre winding to the outer, with a proportional change in voltage to the number of turns, i.e from a small voltage you can create a very high voltage, but at much lower current.
This coil was associated with the X-Ray tube A0198 and the Fluoroscopic screen A0199

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A0136

Image of WW1 X-RAY TUBE

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WW1 X-RAY TUBE

In 1895 the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen (1845-1923) discovered X-rays. He called them “X” because their nature was then unknown. The nature of the rays was not understood until 1912 when another German physicist, Max von Laue (1879-1960), managed to diffract them through a lattice of crystal.

X-rays are electromagnetic waves which pass through material that is normally opaque to light. These waves have a very short wave-length. The discovery of X-rays immediately created a considerable stir. Rontgen became a national hero and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901.

The X-ray tube shown was used during the Great War, along with the Fluoroscopic Screen, Item A0199. Using them the surgeon was able to detect where a bullet had penetrated, (usually in the head), many operations were successfully performed thanks to Rontgen's discovery.

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A0198

Image of WW1 Fluoroscopic X RAY Screen.

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WW1 Fluoroscopic X RAY Screen.

Early screens like these incorporated a substance which when bombarded by the X-Rays from the tube (Item A0198) powered by the induction coil (Item A0136)interact with atoms on the screen giving their energy to the electrons,(photoelectric effect) a small amount of this energy is given off as light. The rays pass through the subject hitting the screen, dense materials absorb the rays, soft ones do not, causing a shadow effect.
X-Ray tubes also produce Gamma rays, these are harmful causing burns to the skin and internal organs.
The maker of this screen, Frederick.R.Butt, died from the effects of over exposure to radiation on August 1st 1937 at the age of 60, he had been a member of the British Institute of Radiology since 1919.
The pointers on the face of the screen may have been used to locate a foreign body internally.

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A0199

Image of WW1 K SCHALL CONTROL PANEL FOR ELECTROTHERAPY

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WW1 K SCHALL CONTROL PANEL FOR ELECTROTHERAPY

This item was made by Siemans Bros at Woolwich, and is believed to be part of an Electric Shock Machine used during WW1. It would have been used in hospitals to treat the victims of “Shell Shock”.

Thousands of men fell victim to this debilitating disease- which had previously gone unrecognised. Sufferers were often accused of malingering or cowardice, it is almost certain that over 300 British servicemen were executed during WW1 who were suffering from Shell Shock and not cowardice. Today the condition is known as “post-traumatic stress disorder”

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A0132

Image of BATTERY BOX, 1920's

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BATTERY BOX, 1920's

Used to house batteries with controls to adjust the power.

The word Cautery (To Cauterise), indicates that it was a medical unit.

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A1144

Image of EVER READY MEDICAL COIL, 1954

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EVER READY MEDICAL COIL, 1954

This example was made in 1954, but similar items have been around since the 1930’s. It was used to treat skin conditions such as excema or 'exema' (sic), and dermatitis as well as other skin complaints.

The voltage was produced from small batteries which would be contained within the box, the patient would feel a tingling sensation when they passed the implements over the effected area.

This item can be compared with the modern day “TENS” machine

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A0901

Image of HODGKINSON HEALTH MACHINE, 1923

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HODGKINSON HEALTH MACHINE, 1923

An electrotherapy device incorporating an induction coil. The coil creates medium voltages that are transmitted to the patient by two flat electrodes on the base.

Electrotherapy is a form of treatment whose basic aim, when used as a physical therapy, is to heal by stimulating activity in wasted or damaged muscles, and to promote healing by the increase of circulated blood in those areas. It can and has been used for the relief of pain, and for minor operations such as the removal of ulcers and cysts.

Bruce Hammond Collection

See item A1252

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A1258

Image of HODGKINSON ELECTRO NUROTONE VIBRATOR, 1900's

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HODGKINSON ELECTRO NUROTONE VIBRATOR, 1900's

The Electro Neurotome Vibrator is another item using a form of Electrotherapy.

Galvanic current was "of low intensity, but of considerable quantity, and produces very considerable results on temperature, and very appreciable chemical results."

Faradic current, or "induced electricity" has almost no chemical action, almost no effect on temperature, causes no burning feeling, no sensation of heat, like that produced by the simple current from the battery; but it produces marked contraction of the muscles, and a powerful action on the nerves of both motion and sensation.

Bruce Hammond Collection

See also item A1258

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A1252

Image of ARDENTE CORONATION HEARING AID, 1937

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ARDENTE CORONATION HEARING AID, 1937

A small earpiece is connected to a microphone and battery box via a lead, The microphone fits into a top pocket.

The Ardent company was formed in 1919 and sold hearing aids imported from the continent. The company soon started to manufacture their own and the name 'Ardente' was first used by them in 1937/9. They also made alarm systems.

Bruce Hammond Collection

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A1254

Image of QUANTITATIVE SACCHAROMETER, 1892

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QUANTITATIVE SACCHAROMETER, 1892

Extract from "The Lancet" Dated January 16th 1892.

"Dr Edward Gans of Carlsbad has recently called the attention of the profession at Berlin to a simple instrument for the quantitative estimation of sugar in the urine, which is particularly adapted to the wants of the general practitioner, on account of its accuracy and ease of manipulation.

It consists of a U-shaped glass tube about six inches high, the longer leg of which is graduated as the annexed sketch shows, the shorter leg terminating in a glass bulb, on the extremity of which fits a glass stopper. The sides of the bulb of the stopper are pierced in corresponding diameters by two fine holes, so that the exit of air can be prevented by a slight turn of the latter.

To use the instrument, mix in the flask 10cc. of the urine to be examined with 90cc of clean water, and shake up with a piece of yeast the size of a coffee bean until there is no longer fragments of the yeast floating about in the vessel, then pour 10cc of this mixture into the bulb and adjust the stopper so that the holes in the bulb and stopper coincide. Now tilt the hole to the left so that the level of the fluid in the tube corresponds with the zero on the scale, and by a slight turn of the stopper shut of communication with the atmosphere. Leave the instrument in an ordinary room temperature (about 65 deg F) for eighteen to twenty four hours, and fermentation going on, the liquid in the tube will rise from the point 0 in proportion to the amount of sugar in the urine. The instrument is so graduated that the points on the scale correspond to the percentage of sugar, so that if the tube rises to 2.5 the percentage of sugar is 2.5.

After repeated experiments, Dr Gans found that the accuracy it almost equalled the method of polarisation, while in cases of the simultaneous presence of sugar and albumen in the urine it could be used when the polarimeter could not. (sic)"

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A0261

Image of URINE MEDICAL DIAGNOSTIC KIT, 1900's

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URINE MEDICAL DIAGNOSTIC KIT, 1900's

No instructions are with these implements, notes inside indicate that it was used for the testing of Urine in the bladder.

Bruce Hammond Collection

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A1214

Image of MAGNETO MEDICAL MACHINE (QUACKERY), 1900's

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MAGNETO MEDICAL MACHINE (QUACKERY), 1900's

Used for Electromagnetic Therapy, the Davis & Kidder Magneto-Electric machine is one of the more common quack devices.

Two rotating magnets that are in proximity cause the production of a current that can be transferred to the 'patient' through wires and metal handles. These machines were advertised to cure various nervous disorders and provided the user with a buzzing sensation that seemed to be effective.

Bruce Hammond Collection

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A1260

Image of FARAD MEDICAL COIL, 1930's

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FARAD MEDICAL COIL, 1930's

Farad Medical Coil 1930's

This is another example of a medical coil, they came in all shapes and sizes, all with the same claims that they would cure lots of different skin complaints.

See Item A1201

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A0134

Image of ARCH D. YOUNG MEDICAL COIL, 1900's

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ARCH D. YOUNG MEDICAL COIL, 1900's

Arch D Young Magneto Medical Coil 1900's

Magneto type Medical coil with accessories. Hand operated with instructions in the lid Electromagnetic Therapy
The Davis & Kidder Magneto-Electric machine is one of the most popular quack devices that one will come across at an antique show or auction. Two rotating magnates that are in proximity cause the production of a current that can be transferred to the "patient" through wires and metal handles. These machines were advertised to cure various nervous disorders and provided the user with a buzzing sensation that seemed to be effective.

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A0131

Image of SCHALL & SONS MEDICAL COIL WITH GLASS TOOLS, 1920's

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SCHALL & SONS MEDICAL COIL WITH GLASS TOOLS, 1920's

A1201 Schall & Sons Medical Coil with Glass Tools 1920's

Used for skin complaints , similar to the modern 'Tens' machine.
Induction Coils were invented by Michael Faraday (1791-1867) in 1831. They were used for medical complaints such as skin disorders, and to power X ray machines. Marconi used a large induction coil for his transmitter system at Poldhu in Cornwall for the first transatlantic transmission

They work by two coils, one with a smaller number of turns but of greater size of wire, surrounded by another of much greater turns but of smaller diameter wire, inside the centre winding is a core of iron at the end of which is a piece of metal, attached to a make and break contact which interrupts the supply to the centre winding, exactly as in an electric bell. The result is an transfer of power from the centre winding to the outer, with a proportional change in voltage to the number of turns, i.e from a small voltage you can create a very high voltage, but at much lower current.

Bruce Hammond Collection

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A1201

Image of MEDICAL COIL, 1930's

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MEDICAL COIL, 1930's

Medical Coil 1930's

A compact medical coil, the instruments would be stored in the small wooden box,

Bruce Hammond Collection

See Item A1201

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A1236


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