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