Two Perkins 'tractors'

Made:
1795-1805 in England
maker:
Elisha Perkins

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Set of Perkins tractors, steel, brass and copper, in leather case photographed together with Advertising leaflet for a
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Set of Perkins tractors, steel, brass and copper, in leather case. Front 3/4 View. Grey brackground.
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

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 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.

Set of Perkins tractors, steel, brass and copper, in leather case.

Perkins 'tractors' were invented by Elisha Perkins, a physician from Connecticut.

Perkins claimed his invention could cure all kinds of ailments through applied pressure to the affected area. Illnesses apparently cured by the 'tractors' included rheumatism, gout, sprains and contusions, burns, scalds, inflammation, epilepsy, bites and stings, and myriad other afflictions. Perkins was denounced as a 'quack' by many of his contemporaries.

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Details

Category:
Therapeutics
Object Number:
1986-372
Materials:
case, cardboard, case, leather, metal
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 tractors therapeutics (electrotherapy), electrotherapy, perkins, tractors
credit:
Phillips

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