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'Radiolux' high frequency apparatus, Europe, 1920-1940

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Powered by mains electricity supply, this set was used to apply high frequency electrical sparks to the body using the glass vacuum electrodes. Known as violet ray treatment, the purple, red, or blue electric sparks were 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. It could also be used for other medical complaints. This was a highly popular home treatment in the first half of the twentieth century and violet ray sets regularly turn up in the attics of elderly people. Although the electrodes certainly produced a tingling sensation on the skin, these sets were of dubious medical worth.

Object number:

1982-778/2

 

Glossary:

Glossary: rheumatism

A disorder where aches and pains affect the muscles and joints.

Glossary: high frequency apparatus

used to apply high frequency electric currents to the body for therapeutic reasons

Glossary: electrodes

A conductor which enables a current to go in or out of a particular object, substance or region.