CONTRIBUTED BY WALTER L. HUGHES
Walter Hughes did what every intrepid radio collector does when he sees a simple looking wooden box -- he looks inside. What he found was interesting enough for him to send in several photos of his find, labeled "Seymour's Battery," and ask if someone could identify it. Before taking photos, however, he cleaned it up with carnauba wax and QRB refinisher.
A perusal through your editor's files yielded a photo of essentially the same device; however, it was labeled, "The Paine Drug Company."
These devices are called "Faradic Batteries" and use an induction coil to produce a pulsed voltage which is applied by probes to various parts of the body. The frequency of the pulses is controlled by a vibrating arm which has a weight that can be moved to affect the frequency. Other controls switch the polarity and intensity of the current applied to the body. One reference claims that the treatment is "useful for the following conditions: neurasthenia, hysteria, general debility, nervous dyspepsia, anaemia, rickets, etc." It goes on to say that "the good results experienced are a feeling of exhilaration and well being, increased appetite, relief of dyspeptic symptoms, and a steadying of the pulse."
Faradic batteries are similar to the electrical stimulation devices used by physical therapists today.
Magill, E. M. Notes on Galvanism and Faradism, 2nd Ed. London: Lewis & Co., 1919.