993.991.1: Electrotherapeutical Apparatus, 1920-1931

Additional Images

993.991.1: Electrotherapeutical Apparatus.
Image No. 3951 ; Photographer: Helen Kingsley

Object Description

Electrotherapeutic apparatus in a portable, lined, lidded case with corner protectors and lock. The left side of the case houses a control box which includes the electrical mechanism [coil, condenser, etc.]. The lid of the control box has a sinusoidal controller, a lever and a dial, which are used to regulate the current strength, and two electrical cord connector posts. There are two electrical cords leading from the control box, one is attached to a Bakelite electrode handle and the other a plug, these are housed on the right side of the case along with two metal electrode tubes and two electrical cords with connector ends. The lid houses five high frequency violet ray electrodes [hollow glass instruments of varying shapes], these include four urethral electrodes and a special vaginal electrode. The case also contains a general electrode [not part of the original set]. A ribbon with the product name 'THE BRANSTON VIOLET RAY HIGH FREQUENCY GENERATOR' is attached to the inner lid padding. A metal plate is attached to the lid giving manufacturer's details and model type 'MODEL 27 NO.10918'. Incomplete, the handles for the metal electrode tubes are missing. Case dimensions given.

Object Classification

Accession Number: 993.991.1
Collection: Therapeutics
Date: 1920-1931

Object Dimensions

  • Length: 36.5 cm
  • Height: 18 cm
  • Width: 27 cm

Object Parts

  • a) Case, handle, electrical cord and plug, dials and electrical mechanism
  • b) Urethral electrode
  • c) Urethral electrode
  • d) Urethral electrode
  • e) Urethral electrode
  • f) General electrode
  • g) Special vaginal electrode
  • h) Metal electrode tube with screw
  • i) Metal electrode tube with screw
  • j) Electrical cord with metal connector ends
  • k) Electrical cord with metal connector ends

Object Materials

  • adhesive textile tape,
  • Bakelite,
  • chrome plate,
  • copper alloy,
  • cord,
  • glass,
  • leatherette,
  • metal,
  • plaster of Paris,
  • steel,
  • varnish,
  • velvet,
  • wood

Acquisition Detail

  • Manufacturer: Branston Co., Chas. A.
  • 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 special vaginal electrode was used for ovaritis, leucorrhea, vaginitis and all pelvic inflammations. The urethral electrodes were used for treating cystitis, strictures, gonorrhea etc. The general electrode was used for facial and body treatments, and for any surface application. This was a highly popular home treatment in the first half of the 20th century.