993.629.1: Violet Ray High Frequency Generator, 1915-1940

Additional Images

993.629.1: Violet Ray High Frequency Generator.
Image No. 3679 ; Photographer: Helen Kingsley

Object Description

A “Renulife Violet Ray Generator” consisting of cased high frequency electro-therapeutical apparatus, Model B, No.167. The case is covered with black seal grain keratol [leatherette] and is fitted with metal corners and a lock. The case is lined with purple velvet which has now discoloured. Two cords of different lengths lead from the transformer, ending in a Bakelite encased plug and a shock-proof handle. The lid has holder clips for five electrodes, these include a metal electrode for systemic treatment: nervousness, anemia etc., and four vacuum glass electrodes: a large and small general surface electrode for all exterior surface treatments; a rake comb electrode for scalp treatment, falling hair, dandruff and grey hair; a double eye electrode for treating both eyes at the same time. Case dimensions given.

Object Classification

Accession Number: 993.629.1
Collection: Therapeutics
Date: 1915-1940

Object Dimensions

  • Height: 16.3 cm
  • Width: 30.8 cm

Object Parts

  • a) Case with shock-proof handle, plug and transformer
  • b) General surface electrode, large
  • c) Rake comb electrode
  • d) General surface electrode, small
  • e) Double eye electrode
  • f) Metal electrode
  • g) Case key

Object Materials

  • adhesive textile tape,
  • Bakelite,
  • cardboard,
  • copper alloy,
  • cord,
  • glass,
  • lead,
  • leather,
  • leatherette,
  • mahogany,
  • metal,
  • nickel plate,
  • paper,
  • plastic,
  • rubber,
  • steel,
  • thread,
  • unidentified material,
  • varnish,
  • velvet,
  • wood

Acquisition Detail

  • Manufacturer: Canadian Renulife Electric Co.
  • History of Use: This set was used to apply high frequency electrical sparks to the body using the glass vacuum electrodes. Known as violet ray treatment 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.