The Electreat was an early TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) handheld “Pain Reliever.” One of the few electro-therapeutic quack devices not banned by the FDA in the 1930’s, probably because the manufacturer made few outrageous claims as to its efficacy. The use of electricity to relieve pain goes back to the ancient Greeks, who advocated going down to the sea and standing on an electric eel to cure a headache.
The bottom cap is removed and 2 common D-Cell batteries are inserted to turn the device on. The device was held in one hand and the roller or attachments were applied to the treated area.
(Source Video Embed Code from http://youtu.be/JAD7yP6mN58)
Oscilloscope waveform showing the actual output of this Electreat. This sample produces 1,250 volts with the control set to maximum. The output can be adjusted from a light tingle to a shock suitable for a cattle prod.
(Source Image URL from nolindan.com)
1. About Dr. Olgierd Lindan’s Collection
Dr. Olgierd Lindan was fascinated by radio since he first set eyes on a radio set in 1917, at the age of four. He began collecting early radios in the late 1950’s when it was still possible to pick up Atwater Kent breadboards and Edison phonographs at the Salvation Army store for $5. He encountered his first ‘black box’ of quack electronics at an amateur radio hamfest and became hooked on the subject: it combined his fascination with radio – actually anything with glowing tubes sticking out of it qualified – and his profession as a medical research physician, with an entertaining dollop of flim-flam to top it all off. Over the intervening years his collection grew to thousands of items and books on the subjects of early radio, medicine, electrotherapy and quackery. Dr. Lindan passed away in March of 2009.