Two Perkins 'tractors'

Made:
1795-1805 in England
maker:
Elisha Perkins
Set of two Perkins tractors, one grayish and one brownish Set of two Perkins tractors, one grayish and one brownish Two Perkins 'tractors' (tractors) Two Perkins 'tractors' (tractors) Set of Perkins tractors, steel, brass and copper Set of Perkins tractors, steel, brass and copper

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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Set of two Perkins tractors, one grayish and one brownish
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Set of two Perkins tractors, one grayish and one brownish
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Set of Perkins tractors, steel, brass and copper
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Set of Perkins tractors, steel, brass and copper
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Set of two Perkins tractors, one grayish and one brownish, made of unknown metal alloys, in decorated red leather case, 1795-1805. These appear to be genuine, as each was stamped 'PERKINS | PATENT | TRACTORS' at the round end.

Elisha Perkins was an American doctor who in 1795 claimed he could draw out disease by removing excess electricity. He did this by

passing two tapered brass and silver rods known as tractors over the body. Critics and supporters emerged on both sides of the Atlantic. Illnesses apparently cured by the 'tractors' included rheumatism, gout, sprains and contusions, burns, scalds, inflammation, epilepsy, bites and stings. Despite claims his invention cured more than 5,000 people in England of various complaints, the treatment was later discredited.

Details

Category:
Therapeutics
Object Number:
1986-372
Materials:
metal, case, leather and case, cardboard
Measurements:
case: 7 mm x 90 mm x 19 mm, .018 kg
tractor: 5 mm x 80 mm x 8 mm, .01 kg
type:
tractors
credit:
Phillips