Electrostatic machine, London, England, 1801-1820

Made:
1801-1820 in London
maker:
Robert Bancks
Electrostatic machine by Robert Banks, 1801-1820, English.  Front view, black background. Electrostatic machine by Robert Banks, 1801-1820, English. View of the back, 3/4 angle. Black background.

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Electrostatic machine by Robert Banks, 1801-1820, English. Front view, black background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Electrostatic machine by Robert Banks, 1801-1820, English. View of the back, 3/4 angle. Black background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Electrostatic machine by Robert Banks, 441 Strand, London, 1801-1820, English

The machine creates static electricity and is likely to have been used in electrotherapy or physiology experiments. Electrotherapy became increasingly popular in England in the second half of the 1700s and in 1767 the Middlesex Hospital became the first hospital to install an electrostatic machine.

Robert Banks, who invented and made this example, was an instrument maker based in London from 1796 to 1834. The Prince of Wales, later George IV, King of England, was among his customers.

Details

Category:
Therapeutics
Object Number:
A140749
Materials:
frame, brass, frame, wood, working parts, brass, working parts, glass, working parts, ivory, working parts, lead, working parts, leather, working parts, paper and working parts, wood
type:
electrostatic machine
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • generator
credit:
Fosters