Electrotherapy equipment

1801-1822 in London
Blunt and Son

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Electrotherapy equipment. Front three quarter view. Grey background
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Electrotherapeutic machine invented by Nairne, 1780-1809, early 19th century.

The cylinders of this electrotherapy machine are turned against the leather cushion, creating an electrical charge which is then transmitted to a Leyden jar. This holds the charge, which can then be passed to a flexible conductor used to deliver an electric shock to the patient.

Electrotherapy was used for a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. This type of equipment was invented by Edward Nairne (1749-1806), an optical and mathematical instrument maker and natural philosopher. Electrotherapy came into popular use in England in the second half of the 1700s.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Related people


Object Number:
A199299 Pt1
boxwood, brass, glass, leather and metal
electrostatic machine
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • generator
Smith, S.A.

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