Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Electrifying Results from Shocking Pamphlet, 1888

The blood is the life, Mr. Renfield, but is electricity the life of the blood?

by Stephen J. Gertz

"Stop taking medicine, and try Nature's Own Remedy: Electricity!

"By the application of Dr. Lowder's Battery, Strength and Vitality is given to the Nerve Forces, uniform and Healthy Circulation to the Blood, and Nature is assisted in restoring the weak and diseased parts to their Healthy Condition.

"Dr. Lowder's Battery acts directly on the circulating system, producing a Mild Electric Current, without shock, and being in harmony with the magnetic laws of the Body, it sustains the various functions, thus promoting the Health and Vigour of the entire frame."

Disclaimer: Overuse may lead to vigor-mortis.

Further disclaimer: Despite the Star of Solomon/Star of David-shaped pendant-battery, there is no such thing as Jewish electricity. The star here is used as a mystical-magik symbol to add a bit of hocus-pocus other-world added supernatural value with an accent on the Kabbalah.

More disclaiming: Pseudo-Hebraic electrifying device and text should not be confused with Efron's Currents of Jewish Thought (1965).

Contraindications: Dr. Lowder's Magneto-Electric Battery will cure thirty ailments but should not be used for the following: scufula, the gleete, ague-cake, hectic fever, jail fever, mormal, quinsy,  variola, and that dreaded of all diseases, mogo-onthegogogo.

WARNING: Remove Dr. Lowder's Magneto-Electric Battery before bathing.

Electric Helmet by Energo of Turin, Italy.

DOUBLE-WARNING: Use of  Dr. Lowder's Magneto-Electric Battery in concert with Energo's electric helmet may lead to unexpected consequences.

Accept No Substitutes! Dr. Scott's Electric Flesh Brush, Dr. Scott's Electirc Corset, Giant Power Heidelberg Electric  Belt, Dr. Pierce's Galvanic Chain Belt, the Electropoise, and Dr. Bell's Electro Appliance ("Especially for Men") do not do the trickery like Dr. Lowder's Magneto-Electric Battery.

Attention! Dr. Lowder's Magneto-Electric Battery may be adapted for use as a joy-buzzer for  a healthy, invigorating handshake not soon forgotten. Use of a pair in tandem may substitute for a defibrillator as long as life is not in danger.

Important Notice: Not suitable for charging cell phones. Please turn off during aeroplane take-off and landing. Avoid proximity to microwave ovens. Wearing Dr. Lowder's Magneto-Electric Battery while going through TSA security may lead to extraordinary rendition.

By Royal Letters Patent. The Great Health Restorer. Dr. Lowder's Magneto-Electric Battery. London: Printed by Latimer, Laite & Co., c. 1888. Bifolium (230 x 150 mm). 4 pp. printed on greenish-blue paper, text within double-ruled border. Three engraved text illustrations. 

Telegraphic Journal & Electrical Review 1888, Vol. 23, p. 140. Rickards (2000), p. 260 (c. 1895 variant).

Suffice it to say, there is no shortage of old and rare books on medical quackery, an excellent area to collect in.

Please visit the Museum of Quackery and its section on electropathy. Illustrations to many of the above named devices can be viewed here.

Image of Dr. Lowder's Magneto-Electric Battery courtesy of James Eaton of Alastor Rare Books (U.K.) and his Catalogue Eighteen, with our thanks. Inquiries may be made here.

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