Thursday, July 6, 2017

Photo Friday: Strange Victorian Hydro-Electro Therapy Device

By Gretchen Sawatzki

As the age of medicine was coming into its own in during the Victorian period, many new health practices included the use of gadgets and devices to cure all types of ailments. Of all of the strange Victorian era devices out there in the world this antique hydro-electro therapy wall cabinet may be the strangest.

The Hydro-Electro Therapy Cabinet as seen in the "Universal Naturopathic
Directory and Buyers' Guide of 1918-1919.

Found in the Universal Naturopathic Directory and Buyers' Guide of 1918-1919, one the latest machines for curing pathological conditions includes the hydro-electro therapy cabinet. Mounted on a wall this cabinet contains buttons, switches, and dials to generate electric current to the user who rests inside a bath tub. According the directory some of the best pathological treatments include the use of electric current that pulsates through the body via water conduction.

Hydro-Electro Therapy Cabinet,
photo by Hannah Manning for Materials Unlimited

Today, hydro-electro therapy (also known as electrocution) seems a bit extreme to cure pathological conditions, but for the Victorians this was just another strange device worth trying in a time when medicine and any treatment were worth trying.

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