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Electric Fluence Machines

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jdc
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Electric Fluence Machines

#1 Post by jdc » August 15th, 2010, 7:08 pm

These were used about a hundred years ago as a cure-all. I've recently seen one demonstrated and wondered if anyone here knew a bit more about these odd machines.
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Alan H
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#2 Post by Alan H » August 15th, 2010, 7:49 pm

Got a link to one?
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jdc
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#3 Post by jdc » August 15th, 2010, 8:42 pm

Alan H wrote:Got a link to one?
There's a picture of one here: http://picasaweb.google.com/10811918835 ... 4944622178

Finding it difficult to get more info by googling, as I'm not sure what they were called. Managed to find an electrical belt on the BBC website that was also promoted as a cure-all ~100 yrs ago.
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Alan H
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#4 Post by Alan H » August 15th, 2010, 8:49 pm

That was what was on the Victorian Pharmacy the other night, wasn't it?

I think I saw one at the Wellcome Collection, I assume they just generate a hundred or so volts [---][/---] it'll feel as if the 'doctor' is doing something powerful to you and so enhance the placebo effect.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

jdc
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#5 Post by jdc » August 15th, 2010, 8:56 pm

Alan H wrote:That was what was on the Victorian Pharmacy the other night, wasn't it?

I think I saw one at the Wellcome Collection, I assume they just generate a hundred or so volts [---][/---] it'll feel as if the 'doctor' is doing something powerful to you and so enhance the placebo effect.
Oh, that could be a useful lead. Will have to see if I can find more on the Wellcome Collection's machine. Ta.
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Dave B
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#6 Post by Dave B » August 15th, 2010, 8:57 pm

Been looking around but, so far, can only find medical electric shock machines.

However I have memories of seeing diagrams of magnetic devices as well - still looking.
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Alan H
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#7 Post by Alan H » August 15th, 2010, 9:19 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#8 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » August 15th, 2010, 10:20 pm


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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#9 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » August 15th, 2010, 10:27 pm

Dave B wrote:Been looking around but, so far, can only find medical electric shock machines.
Oh, I thought they were the same thing. This Victorian Electric Shock Therapy Machine sold recently for £95 was called the "Improved Patent Magneto-Electric Machine for Nervous Diseases". And it looks very similar to the one jdc linked to. The labels are slightly different, but you can see the words "IMPROVED MAGNETO-" on the left-hand side of the label, and the "HINE" of MACHINE on the right. And what looks like "FOR NERVOUS DISEASES" in the middle.

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Dave B
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#10 Post by Dave B » August 16th, 2010, 12:31 pm

Hi, Emma. Those were interesting machines, basically generators by the looks of them, possibly highish voltage. The picture I have in my memory was of a man strapped in a chair with a helmet, with wires from it, on his head and hid feet in a bowl of water.

The latter bit, I admit, seems to indicate making the shock a whole body experience, perhaps it was just a different kind of shock machine, perhaps allied to phrenology where the helmet allowed selective contact with the right bumps!

Still looking.
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lewist
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#11 Post by lewist » August 16th, 2010, 4:53 pm

I have tried a Magneto-Electric Therapy Machine. My father had a friend who worked for the Council and got all sorts of things in his job as a rubbish disposal operative (known as a scaffie in 1950s Scotland), and he had one of these. It was a nice wooden box with the works inside, just like in the pictures. You took the copper electrodes, one in each hand, someone turned the handle and you got a tingling - or even painful - electric shock. It could be adjusted for different levels of shock, and the rate the handle was turned at also had an effect, or did it store the power? I was told it was from the last (nineteenth) century and people in those days believed it cured things but there was no suggestion from anyone that it worked. It was a curiosity.

Isn't it interesting that one of the main uses was for 'hysteria'? I guess it was ok to torture women in those days.
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Dave B
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#12 Post by Dave B » August 16th, 2010, 5:09 pm

It could be adjusted for different levels of shock, and the rate the handle was turned at also had an effect, or did it store the power?
I doubt that it stored any energy, any early batteries such a device might have had would have long ago become defunct.

In any event it was almost certain an "ac", alternating current, machine since these are easier to make and have a very similar effect on human muscles!

The speed would have been critical due to the formula dI/dT, "d" means "a change in", I is the current generated and T is the time, the speed. As the time gets smaller (turn the handle faster) the current (and voltage) generated gets larger - all else being equal (the number of turns of wire in the coil, the strength of the magnet etc.) and within the limits of the system (turn it fast enough and you will get sparks flashing and lightning all over the place as the insulation breaks down, get even faster and it might fly apart through structural failure!)

More than you wanted to know!? :D
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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#13 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » August 16th, 2010, 5:50 pm

lewist wrote:Isn't it interesting that one of the main uses was for 'hysteria'? I guess it was ok to torture women in those days.
Yes, but it was OK to pleasure them, too. A much more popular treatment for hysteria was "pelvic massage" leading to "hysterical paroxysm". Because that could be rather time-consuming for physicians, hydrotherapy devices were also used, as well as the electric vibrator [---][/---] initially big, cumbersome machines, but eventually available as a portable device:
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jdc
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#14 Post by jdc » August 16th, 2010, 5:59 pm

Thanks all for the interesting comments and useful links. Am going to be blogging this, but will be sure to acknowledge your kind assistance.

ETA: blogged.
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tubataxidriver
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#15 Post by tubataxidriver » August 22nd, 2010, 3:15 pm

Sorry I didn't catch this discussion earlier - been away from the internet in East Fife for a holiday.

The main machine discussed seems to be a coil-based voltage generator. This would generate a few volts at a few milliamps from the blue motor-like device, but it would then be stepped up in a transformer coil to a few hundred volts but at a few micro-amps.

Some of the hand cranked machines look to me like static electricity generators, rather than coil-based generators. These would provide the mild tingling sensation.

Remember, 50V or less can kill, if enough amps flow through the right part of the body. It can be about 80 milliamps.

Also remember that electroconvulsive therapy is still used as a psychiatric treatment.

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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#16 Post by Dave B » August 22nd, 2010, 3:38 pm

I think the word "magneto" was mentioned somewhere TTD. If this is the same as the magneto type generator used in small IC engines it is well capable of generating a voltage sufficient to throw a spark. (My first motorbike had one as well. I am not pre-war, but the bike was!)

I doubt that they used that high a voltage for therapy though, would have been very painful. Tesla invented the transformer in 1897, so before that it would have to have been a magneto type HT generator. There looks like a fair set of gearing up in those boxes, so sufficient speed would have been achievable.

I made my first electric spark device (aged about 13) from a door bell and a old valve radio output transformer (1:1000 ratio) - worked great until the insulation on the transformer broke down!
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Dave B
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#17 Post by Dave B » August 22nd, 2010, 3:42 pm

From the Wiki article on the magneto:
The magneto also had a medical use on some mind illness in the beginnings of electromedicine. In 1850, Duchenne, a French doctor, developed and manufactured a magneto with a variable outer voltage and frequency, through varying revolutions by hand or varying the inductance of the two coils, putting out or putting in both ferromagnetic cores.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magneto
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Dave B
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#18 Post by Dave B » August 22nd, 2010, 3:46 pm

There is an interesting thread of stuff here - from Wiki on Dr Duchenne de Boulogne,

Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchenne_de_Boulogne
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Alan H
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#19 Post by Alan H » August 22nd, 2010, 7:18 pm

tubataxidriver wrote:Remember, 50V or less can kill, if enough amps flow through the right part of the body. It can be about 80 milliamps.
Although Wikipedia says there have been deaths from voltages lower than 50 V, it usually isn't large enough to push sufficient current through the body to cause any problems. In fact, I doubt most people would even feel 50 V.

IIRC, it takes just a milliamp directly through the heart to cause serious problems, but, because of the body's resistance, a higher voltage is required to force this current through the body, depending on contact and skin resistance. 100 V is usually sufficient to be felt strongly across the hands and may cause heart issues (don't try this at home!). 240 V can certainly be lethal (but I'm still here!).
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Electric Fluence Machines

#20 Post by Dave B » August 22nd, 2010, 7:57 pm

IIRC, it takes just a milliamp directly through the heart to cause serious problems. . .
Hmm, I must work out what current my ICD delivers into my heart. I know it is 813V and about 30J, but can't remember what duration the pulses are and that is critical to find the current if IIRC. External defibrillators deliver up to 300J, but I am not sure of the voltage.

The ICD shocks are delivered between the case of the device (under the skin between my left collar bone and my heart) and the interior of the heart at the bottom corner of the left ventricle.

Obviously not fatal (!) but certainly gets one's attention if one is concious at the time . . .
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