Perkins Tractors. Satirical artwork showing the use of 'Perkins Patent Tractors', two short metal rods drawing out an 'electrical fluid' said to cause disorders. Invented in 1796 by the US physician Elisha Perkins (1741-1799), this example of quackery was popularised in the UK by his son Benjamin. A newspaper advert for the treatment is on the table. This artwork, by the British caricaturist James Gillray (1756-1815), was published in London and dates from 1801. This copy is from 'Die Karikatur und Satire in der Medizin' (Caricature and Satire in Medicine, 1921) by the German art historian and physician Eugen Hollander (1867-1932).
October 7th, 2018
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