Featured Artifact of the Week

Therapeutic Instrument

From the Medical Exhibit

Ca. 1920 William’s Improved Red Cross Battery. It was manufactured by P.G. Williams of New York. Medical batteries were popular from around 1870 to 1920, with various models advertised for either home or clinic treatment. They gave electrical shocks to the user to “cure” a variety of ailments, such as arthritis and migraines. The intensity of the current could be controlled with our exhibited model, while the battery itself was housed within the box.

More history on this “quack” device may be found in Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences.