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Logo of procrsmedFormerly medchtJournal of the Royal Society of MedicineProceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine
Proc R Soc Med. 1977 September; 70(9): 635–641.
PMCID: PMC1543370

Electrical apparatus used in medicine before 1900.


The Ancients had at their disposal torpedo fish, amber and magnets. It was not until the sixteenth century that ideas on the strange behaviour of amber and magnets were put forward. The eighteenth century saw the application of Newton's theories of matter and the introduction of the electrostatic machine, Galvanism and Volta's battery. In the nineteenth century there was extensive application of electricity in medical practice, with the development of electrocautery apparatus and illuminated cystoscopes, the pioneering of the electrocardiogram and the discovery of X-rays.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Waller AD. A Demonstration on Man of Electromotive Changes accompanying the Heart's Beat. J Physiol. 1887 Oct;8(5):229–234. [PubMed]

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