Professor Halse's Medical Galvanism c.1845
Very early electrical device for medical use to give patients electrical treatment which was fashionable soon after the early electrical discoveries of Faraday et alia and used to treat almost everything from warts to impotence. This apparatus would have been connected to a "voltic pile" and uses wound magnetic coils to output an increased and variable voltage to the patient. The voltage is varied by turning the brass acorn finial on the top of the dial and the increase or decrease in the output is indicated by the hand which moves over a scale from "very week" to "very strong" marked out from 1-20 in roman numerals.
The dial has the following inscription under "The Prince of Wales Feathers" (indicating a royal connection)."Mr W.H.Halse Professor of Medical Galvanism No 1 Addison Terrace, Kensington, London.
This is just about the earliest medical electrical apparatus it is possible to collect,(using direct current as opposed to static electricity) and almost certainly dates from the early 1840s.I have had only one other similar device from this period before and that was much smaller and incomplete.
For a similar device from the same period see the "Teyler Museum Teaching and Research Apparatus" by Gerard Turner catalogue number 707.
Condition: This apparatus is complete and appears to be in good order. One strip of the mahogany is missing on the top layer see photo close-up. There is much of the original laquor still on the pillars but it is worn off on the tops of the screws used to retain the electric wire. The paper dial has some slight staining which looks worse than it is from a flash photo. Also caused by the flash are the spots shown on the dial. These spots are just shaddows of tiny imperfections on the glass dial projected by the flash on to the dial.
More detailed photos can be sent on request by email.
Base 5" x 8" (13 x 20 cm) Height 6" (15 cm).
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