The Magneto Electric Machine – Victorian Medicine

20131121_133559Look what Daniel brought into Lab_13 today! It is a Magneto-Electric Machine which was his great grandfathers. He was lucky to find it in his grandparents attic recently and has brought it to school to show everyone how it works.

In about 1850, the doctor  would place handles in the patient’s hands or elsewhere on the patient’s body and then turn a crank to deliver a ‘mild’ alternating current to the patient. The force of the current depended upon the tightness of the back right screw. We tried it on some of the teachers!


20131121_13341420131121_133421Back then, they believed the treatment could relieve pain, as well as cure numerous diseases, including cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes, gangrene, heart disease, tetanus, and spinal deformities. While we don’t use machines like this anymore, scientific investigations into the study of electricity for medicine, has given us devices used by anesthesiologists to ensure that patients receive proper doses of certain muscle relaxants, to accurately locate nerves for the safe administration of nerve blocks, and to treat chronic pain.

About lab13network

Lab_13 is a space in a school managed by pupils for pupils to conduct their own research and experiments driven by their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, and under the watchful supervision of a Scientist in Residence (not a teacher!!).
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