Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

CHAPTER 4 [Equipment]

NOTWITHSTANDING I have developed the whole subject of medical electricity, and made it familiar to the weakest capacity; not only discovered its inestimable use in preserving and restoring health and life - I had almost said its omnipotent power over diseases, especially the acute kind; detected the former absurd, inconsistent, pernicious manner of using this simple, powerful and blessed agent; fairly delineated and harmonised a system of practical rules, to be observed in treating by electricity in almost all disease: yet if I drop the subject here, mankind are not likely to be much bettered by it. It is of small importance to be informed of a medicine that would cure, but cannot be obtained.

Kind reader, I am determined to withhold nothing that shall be necessary to consummate your happiness, and make you master of the whole art of medical and practical electricity. You shall reap the full harvest of all my labours, for nearly twenty years, on a subject that hath engrossed almost my whole attention, and with such unavoidable expenses, as have prevented my being able to accumulate worldly pelf to myself.

During this time of practicing medical electricity, I have discovered some improvements in the art of building the electrical machines, both in respect to their convenience and cheapness.

A thorough knowledge of building the machinery, and keeping them in repair, is now what is wanting to consummate the whole business, and leave my reader master of the field. I know it would answer a more lucrative purpose, to reserve this part to myself: but, as it would impede what I ardently wish for, viz. that all mankind were in possession of the utmost knowledge and use of this precious mean of health, I freely forego any consideration of self-interest in the case, and participate the blessing communicated to mankind herein.

This chapter will contain, instructions for building different constructions of machinery - of the insolating stool and bed - how to make a malgam - natural limitation of lightning - how to extract lightning from the cloud - the use of lightning rods - caution in time of lightning - how to use electricity as a preventative, &c.

I shall begin by describing a machine, which may be built with about two dollars cost, and a little work; and will be more convenient for medical purposes, by far, than any important from Europe, although they cost several guineas: but those of the European construction are built more for ornament than real usefulness; for the most of them cannot be charged in the summer season, when accute diseases are most prevalent, and the machines are constantly most wanted for use. But my constructions

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The Shocking Bag: Medical Electricity in mid-18th-Century London

Pieter (Petrus) van Musschenbroek (1692-1761)

Leyden jar and Insulating Stand

Battery of Leyden Jars

Wikipedia - Electrometer

Book on historical instruments of science

Historical experiments - MIT

The physics underneath it all

Pyroelectricity: From Ancient Curiosity to Modern Imaging Tool

Electrostatics & High Voltage Links

Electrical machine

Benjamin Franklin's Science

Alessandro Volta(1745-1827)

Electrical Apparatus for Measuring and for Demonstration at the Munich Exhibition

Make Your Own High-Voltage Capacitors

Shock in the Shower

Electrostatic Machines

Bottled energy

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1 Title page
2 Preface
13 Chapter 1 - Animal and Vegetable Electricity
26 Chapter 1 - Astronomical
70 Chapter 2 - Of the Conductors
   97 Chapter 3  [Medical Conditions]   People and Links   Theory Links
242 Chapter 4  [Equipment]   Equipment Links
262     Natural imitation of Lightning
264     Method of extracting Lightning
268     The use of Lightning-Rods
270     Cautions in time of Lightning
273     Some further Directions for using Electricity
277 Thoughts on the Times
Electricity, or Ethereal Fire, Considered is presented here for historical purposes only, and should not be interpreted as medical advice.


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