J.L. Pulvermacher's Patent Portable Hydro-Electric Chain.Is constructed to be worn on the body for Curative purposes, and...produces an electric current circulating from one end (pole) of the Chain to the other through any part of the body interposed between those two poles.
Two broadsheet advertisements, one promotional four-page leaflet, one single-sheet; letterpress with coat of arms, the second illustrated with wood engraved vignettes. Sheets 340 x 215mm (13¼ x 8½") and 265 x 205mm (10½ x 8"). Tatty extremities; folds, small tears etc.
Two printed leaflets of interesting medical ephemera. J L Pulvermacher of London specialised in ‘self-applicable’ treatments for ‘nervous and chronic diseases without medicine’ and was frequently refered to as "J.L. PULVERMACHER, A FOUNDER of the ELECTRO-MAGNETIC CULT, LONDON". From the advertising ephemera of the period we see that the entrepreneur was not slow in his response to the new medical "cure-all". The word ‘electricity’ became the vogue-word of medical advertising, and such words as ‘galvano-magnetic’ and ‘magneto-electric’ came into general use. 'Galvano' derives from Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) who discovered he could make a muscle twitch by touching the nerve with metal (a pair of scissors for example) without a source of electrostatic charge. He called this phenomenon 'animal electricity'. While Galvani’s work was later discredited it inspired the subsequent use of electricity to treat medical conditions. The term 'galvanise', to shock or excite into action, also comes from him. Pulvermacher, who seems to have started his business in the 1840's, here advertises his Principal Depot as Leadenhall Steet in the City, and where products of his galvanic establishment could be bought. Pulvermacher’s principal product was the Electric Chain Band, with Chain-Batteries and Intensity Batteries. Many of his items were patented, and the British Patent Office shows that he had several patents in 1849 and 1852 for medical electrical equipment. The first leaflet advertises the invention's first public exhibition at the 1851 Great Exhibition in the 'English Department, Section 10, No. 437, Northern Gallery of the Nave'. The second advertisement refers to the obvious success of the Hydro-Electric Chain at the Great Exhibition, and was evidently printed later as it carries testimonies to the applications of the apparatus. It advertises the availability of a "pocket version" of the equipment for portable use. Pulvermacher ‘s devices were championed by Dr. Golding Bird of Guy's Hospital a physician of repute, lecturer in natural philosophy, electrotherapeutist, clinical chemist, frequent contributor to medical journals of London and restorer of the medical use of electricity from quacks, who wrote a notable monograph on urinary problems. England’s first electrical therapy department was established by him.
Provenance: from a scrap album compiled c.1840 - 1880 by Alfred Towgood of Riverside, a paper mill owner at St. Neots, Huntingdon. He was also a Lieutenant in the Duke of Manchester's Light Horse.
[Ref: 16350] £260.00