Kidder's patent electric machine, 1870-1900.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This machine was used to deliver a series of high voltage electric shocks through the skin and tisue of patients with 'nervous diseases'. Two rotating magnets in close proximity to each other generated an electric current which could then be transferred to the patient through wires and metal handles. Not surprisingly this left the patient with a buzzing sensation, which some claimed was effective in relieving their symptoms. These machines were manufactured by the Jerome Kidder Manufacturing Company in New York City. The company later went on to mnufacture X-ray equipment.