Medical Antiques > Medical Therapeutic Instruments

Quack Electrotherapy Shock Machine by A.Gaiffe A Paris 19th Century

Item#: MET768



This shock machine was used to deliver an electric shock through the skin of patients with 'nervous diseases'. The set, made by Adolphe Gaiffe (1830-1903), consists of an interrupter designed to change the DC from a battery into high voltage pulses capable of giving a tingling electric shock to the 'patient', and several electrodes used to apply the shocks to different parts of the body. The supplied electrodes consist of a brass brush, a curved, pointed, internal electrode, and brass cylinders. Any of these electrodes can be screwed onto insulated handles to prevent the 'doctor' from receiving any shocks. The chemical battery is missing. Not surprisingly, this left the patient with a tingling sensation, which some claimed was effective in relieving their symptoms. The machine comes in a polished mahogany box with the label Appareil D'induction Volta Faradique Brevete SGDG. A Gaiffe a Paris. The inner lid has a warning notice in English.