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.
- Object Number:
case: 7 mm x 90 mm x 19 mm, .018 kg
tractor: 5 mm x 80 mm x 8 mm, .01 kg