Static Electricity "Franklenism"

"...Electricity, containing as it were, all within its power, alone exhibits the effects of many sciences, combined together different powers, and, by striking the senses in a particular and surprising manner, affords pleasure, and is of use to the ignorant as well as the philosopher, the rich as well as the poor. In Electricity, we are pleased with beholding its penetrating light, exhibited in numberless different forms; we admire its attraction and repulsion, acting upon every kind of body; we are surprised by the shock, terrified by the explosion and force of its battery; but when we consider and examine it as the cause of thunder, lightning, aurora borealis, and other appearances of nature, whose direful effects we can in part imitate, explain, and even avert, we are then involved in a maze, that leaves nothing to contemplate but the inexpressible and permanent idea of admiration and wonder.".
Tiberius Cavallo, A Complete Treatise On Electricity, 1795

"THE electrical effluvia is far more subtile than air, is diffused through all space, surrounds the earth, and pervades every part of it; and such is the extreme fineness, velocity and expansiveness of this active principle, that all other matter seems to be only the body, and this the soul of the universe.".  T. Gale, Electricity or Ethereal Fire Considered, 1802

Static Electricity has captivated humans since the beginning of time.  The practice of actually capturing and harnessing its power only began in the late 1600s by Otto von Guericke.  In 1705 Francis Haukesbee produced artificial light with electricity and paved the way for this new field to become not only entertaining but useful and practical for everyday purposes...

Faradism & Galvanism

"IN examining the progress of almost any branch of human knowledge, curiosity must meet with many repulses. By the time the attention of society is attracted to the accumulation of detached truths, which compose a science, it is often impossible to retrace its history. The real origin of most discoveries is obscured by antiquity, their authors have already sunk into oblivion, and important improvements are ascribed to different inventors...Electricity is however oppressed by few of these difficulties. With the exception of some small discoveries mentioned by ancient authors, this science derives its origin and all its improvements from the two last centuries." 
Jacob Green, An Epitome of Electricity and Galvanism, 1809

Galvanism was the use of batteries or "voltaic piles" to produce electric currents to be applied to the body.  This was often done ornamentally (such as galvanic jewelry) or by gigantic banks of glass jars interconnected.  The currents were used for both chemical and electrical effects on the body.  

Faradism was the application of an interrupted current generated from one or more batteries and an electrical coil with a circuit breaker.  This apparatus produced intense muscle contractions and shocks.

Induction Coils

"Electricity is often called wonderful, beautiful; but it is so only in common with the other forces of nature. The beauty of electricity or of any other force is not that the power is mysterious, and unexpected, touching every sense at unawares in turn, but that it is under law, and that the taught intellect can even now govern it largely. The human mind is placed above, and not beneath it, and it is in such a point of view that the mental education afforded by science is rendered super-eminent in dignity, in practical application and utility; for by enabling the mind to apply the natural power through law, it conveys the gifts of God to man."
Michael Faraday

Induction Coils were the first type of electrical transformer, and when operated by an interrupted current from a battery produced violent shocks and long sparks in the air.  They became a practical power supply for X-Rays in the late 1800s and were pivotal tools in the early experimental days of radio and wireless telegraphy.
"I was working with a Crookes tube covered by a shield of black cardboard. A piece of barium platino-cyanide paper lay on the bench there. I had been passing a current through the tube, and I noticed a peculiar black line across the paper. The effect was one which could only be produced in ordinary parlance by the passage of light. No light could come from the tube because the shield which covered it was impervious to any light known even that of the electric arc...I did not think I investigated...I assumed that the effect must have come from the tube since its character indicated that it could come from nowhere else.  It seemed at first a new kind of invisible light. It was clearly something new something unrecorded...  There is much to do, and I am busy, very busy." 
Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen, On his discovery of the X-Ray

Fewer discoveries have ever captivated people around the world as that of the X-Ray.  In a time when messages could be sent without wires, light bulbs lit with no visible power source, well, anything seemed possible in the 1890s...and seeing the invisible was the most exciting thing ever dreamed for many.
Crookes & Geissler Tubes
"When we look at the world around us, on Nature, we are impressed with its beauty and grandeur. Each thing we perceive, though it may be vanishingly small, is in itself a world, that is, like the whole of the universe, matter and force governed by law,—a world, the contemplation of which fills us with feelings of wonder and irresistibly urges us to ceaseless thought and inquiry. But in all this vast world, of all objects our senses reveal to us, the most marvelous, the most appealing to our imagination, appears no doubt a highly developed organism, a thinking being...Of all our organs, it is the one, which is in the most intimate relation with that which we call intellect. So intimate is this relation, that it is often said, the very soul shows itself in the eye."
 Nikola Tesla, On Light And Other High Frequency Phenomena, 1893

Diathermy is when high frequency currents are used to heat, cut, coagulate, and destroy tissues.  Diathermy Machines were used to lower blood pressure electrically before medications were available.  When used surgically, they were most beneficial in the removal of cancerous cysts.  Unlike the scalpel, where excessive bleeding occurred  (and re-infecting good tissues with bad cancer cells) electrical cutting of tissues allowed the blood vessels to be sealed as they were cut...cysts could be cooked in a sense before removed, and all in all the procedures had an overall success rate that was higher and with a speedier recovery.  Today they are replaced with lasers, and although they look straight out of Frankenstein were actually legitimate medical tools in the 1920s, even if occasionally they were pawned off by quacks ;) ...

Oudin Resonators were large Tesla Coils used to apply sparks to the skin and diffuse electricity to produce physiological effects on the body.
"Violet Rays"
"Violet Ray" Machines were portable handheld Tesla Coils that applied sparks to the skin diffused through glass electrodes.  These electrodes were made to conform to every conceivable body part to "cure" virtually every known disease... originally they were sold for legitimate reasons, mainly treating minor skin conditions (such as acne), but as they grew popularity so grew the extravagant claims...which eventually led to the FDA seizing countless devices and companies being put on trial.  
Today the machines are still sold for their original intent to aestheticians and beauticians and remain one of the most popular medical collectibles.  They are also gaining popularity worldwide in the fetish markets as unusual and provocative "sex toys".  These device prove that history is stranger is fiction...
Phototherapy & Ultraviolet Radiation
"Carbon Arc" lamps were the first commercial electric light source, and are still considered the most efficient source of true white light.
The are virtually a sustained welding arc in open air that produces an intense blinding light across the entire visible spectrum.

"Ultra-Violet Quartz Irradiation" lamps were early forms of sunlamps with intense germicidal properties.  Most also generated copious amounts of ozone in addition to ultraviolet radiation.   

"Phototherapy" was a field that used light and UV radiation to treat diseases.  It was pioneered by Danish physician Niels Finsen in his groundbreaking work with lupus cases.  Over the years it was unfortunately reduced to various shades of quackery with semi-bogus (but amusing) "colored light" therapy machines.
"There's one born every minute..."  And the hundreds of quackery devices produced over the centuries proves it...
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