2006.70.1: Electrotherapeutical Apparatus, 1900-1930

Additional Images

2006.70.1: Electrotherapeutical Apparatus.
Image No. 2132 ; Photographer: Helen Kingsley

Object Description

'Branston Violet Ray High Frequency Generator'. Cased electrotherapeutical apparatus with one metal electrode and 4 high frequency violet ray surface electrodes [sealed glass tubes]: rake comb, special prostatic and 2 general surface electrodes. A lever is used to regulate the current strength, with 2 lengths of twisted double electrical cords coming from the covered generator/cell ending with a Bakelite electrode handle and a plug. A metal plate is attached giving manufacturer's details and model type and number 'MODEL 7 NO 3419'. Case dimensions given. Product name ribbon attached to inner lid surface is missing.

Object Classification

Accession Number: 2006.70.1
Collection: Therapeutics
Date: 1900-1930

Object Dimensions

  • Height: 18 cm
  • Width: 29.5 cm
  • Depth: 24 cm

Object Parts

  • a) Lined hinged case with leather handle, current lever, cell, 2 electrical cords with plug and electrode handle
  • b) Rake comb electrode
  • c) General surface electrode
  • d) Special prostatic electrode
  • e) General surface electrode
  • f) Metal electrode

Object Materials

  • Bakelite,
  • copper alloy,
  • glass,
  • leather,
  • leatherette,
  • metal,
  • plating,
  • steel,
  • textile,
  • velvet,
  • wood

Acquisition Detail

  • Manufacturer: Branston Co., Chas. A.
  • History of Use: Owned by Monica Rasmussen [1912-2009] nee Ashby, an early settler of San Josef Bay, near Cape Scott, Vancouver Island. This set was used to apply high frequency electrical sparks to the body using the glass vacuum electrodes. It was believed to relieve aches and pains in the muscles, internal organs and the nerves [rheumatism] by massaging the surface of the skin with the electrode and it was also used for treating various skin conditions. The glass comb shaped electrode was used to stimulate hair growth on the scalp as a cure for baldness. This was a highly popular home treatment in the first half of the 20th century.