Alternative "Quack" Medical Devices : Great For What Ails You
Object ID Number:
Object Name:
Magneto–Electric Machine
W. H. Burnap, 350 West 337th Street, N Y, N Y
Date of Manufacture:
1854/ /
Description / History:
Davis & Kidder's Patent Magneto – Electric Machine for Nervous Disease
With original Electrodes in Wooden Box. This machine is operated by a hand crank on the front of the wooden box. The electrical charge goes out to the two metal handles to give patient and electric shock.
Attached to the inside lid of the wooden box is a label with the name of the device and directions for its use as well as two testimonials on its effectiveness.
Signed by W. H. Burnap.
H–4.5 W–4.5 L–10 inches
Additional Information:
In 1854, manufacturer W.H. Burnap produced a well–known electrotherapy device that was purchased by the general consumer as well as some physicians and hospitals: The Davis & Kidder Patent Magneto–Electric Machine for Nervous Diseases. The operator of this electromagnetic generator would place handles in the patient hands or elsewhere on the patient body and then turn a crank to deliver a mild alternating current to the patient. The force of the current depended upon the speed with which the crank was turned.

The makers claimed that it could relieve pain, as well as cure numerous diseases, including cancer, consumption (tuberculosis), diabetes, gangrene, heart disease, lockjaw (tetanus), and spinal deformities.

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