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Dr Jerome Kidder's Electro-magnetic Machine

Sources: A Newly Discovered System Of Electrical Medication

On opening the machine-box, as it comes from the manufacturer, there

will be found a glass bottle, intended to hold the battery fluid when

not in use; a glass cup or jar, to serve as the battery cell; a pair of

insulated metallic conducting cords; two tin electrodes; a brass clamp;

and, under the helix-box, (which raise), the battery metals and two

connecting wires to unite the battery with the helix.

ut the machine in working condition--ready for use--proceed, step by

step, as follows, viz: Prepare the Battery Fluid by mixing twelve

parts, by measure, of water with one part of sulphuric acid, (good

commercial acid is pure enough), sufficient to fill the cell two-thirds

or three-fourths full, and place in it about one-third of an ounce of


Next, place the platina plate between the two zinc plates, standing on

their legs upon a table before you; and bring the top of the wooden bar

(in a groove of which the platina is set) up flush with the top of the

zinc plates. Let the brass post, standing on the top of this bar and

soldered to the platina plate below, be toward the left-hand side. Then

take the brass clamp and place it across the top of these metallic

plates, a little to the right of the brass post, or about midway between

the right and left sides, having its thumb-screw towards you, and with

it screw the three plates firmly together. The platina is shorter than

the zincs, to prevent its reaching the quicksilver in the bottom of the

cell; and the wax balls on its sides are to insulate it from the zinc

plates. This platina should never be allowed to touch the mercury or the


Let the plates, properly screwed together, be now placed in the cell

with the Battery Fluid. Then, with the two copper connecting-wires,

connect the post which stands on the wooden bar above the platina with

the post stamped P on the helix-box, and the brass clamp N with the

post N on the helix-box.

If, now, the screws regulating the vibrating armature be in perfect

adjustment, the current will commence to run, with a buzzing sound; or

it may be made to start by touching the hammer-like head of the flat

steel spring. If not, the screws may be rightly adjusted in the

following way: The top screw, which at its lower point is tipped with a

small coil of platina wire, should be made to press delicately upon the

center of the little iron plate on the upper side of the spring, so as

to bear the latter down very slightly. Then raise or depress the

screw-magnet, which turns up or down under the hammer, like the seat of

a piano-stool, until the vibration of the spring commences. The

rapidity of the vibrations, by which is secured the alternate closing

and breaking of the electric circuit (or rather what, in practical

effect, is equivalent to this--the direct and reverse action of the

current in alternation) is increased by raising the screw-magnet and

diminished by lowering it. When it is raised above what is required for

ordinary use, the noise becomes too loud and harsh for many nervous

patients to bear. It should then be depressed a little.

With respect to curative power, I have discovered but little perceptible

difference, produced by the various degrees of rapidity in the

vibrations, effected within the range of this magnet.

The force of the current is regulated by means of a tubular magnet,

which slides over the helix, and is called the plunger. It is

approached under a brass cap at the right-hand end of the machine. The

plunger is withdrawn, more or less, to increase the force; pushed in to

diminish it. If in any case the current can not be softened sufficiently

with the plunger, the quantity of battery fluid in use must be made


After a time the current will become weak, and fail to run well. Then

renew the battery fluid. When the quicksilver is all taken up by the

zinc plates, the machine may be run for a while without adding more. But

after it has considerably disappeared from the inside surface of the zinc

plates, the latter will begin to show more rapid corrosion, while the

current will be less. Then let a small quantity of quicksilver--one-fourth

to one-third of an ounce--again be placed in the fluid.

When the machine is not in use, let the metals be removed from the

fluid; and, if not to be soon again used, let them be rinsed with

water, carefully avoiding to wet the wooden bar in which the platina is


The posts, with which the conducting-cords are to be connected, are

arranged in a row near the front of the helix-box, and are marked A, B,

C, D. Either two of these posts may be used to obtain a current; and

since they admit of six varying combinations, six different currents are

afforded by the machine, viz: the A B current, the A C current, the A D

current, the B C current, the B D current, and the C D current.

Whichever current is used, it may always be known which of the two posts

employed is the positive and which the negative, by observing the

letters stamped upon their tops. The one whose letter comes first in the

order of the alphabet is positive; the other is negative. Also, the one

standing towards the left hand is positive, and that at the right hand

is negative. The qualities of the several currents are stated in a

descriptive paper on the inside of the lid of the machine, which see. It

will there be found that three of the currents--viz, the A B, the A C

and the A D currents--are electrolytic: that is, dissolving by

electric action. These electrolytic currents require to be used--one or

another of them--whenever any chemical action is needed; as, in

decomposing or neutralizing virus in the system, destroying cancers,

reducing glands when chronically enlarged, removing tumors or other

abnormal growths, and in treating old ulcers and chronic irritation of

mucous membranes. The other three, being Faradaic or induction currents,

and having no perceptibly chemical action, are used where only change of

electro-vital polarization is required. These Faradaic currents differ

from each other in respect to being concentrative or diffusive in

their effects, and in their sensational force. B C is concentrative

and delicately sensational. C D is also concentrative, though less so

than B C, and is more strongly sensational. B D is diffusive, and the

most energetically sensational of the three.