A French galvanic brooch or pendant from the turn of the century, made from brass, copper, lead and nickel-plated iron.
Different metals are known to generate small electric currents when brought together. This was thought to confer healing properties when they were held against the skin and such pendants were widely marketed as electro-therapeutic devices.
The inscription reads ‘Medaille Electro Medical purifie le sang – assainit la bile – guerit les douleurs et les reumatismes. La sante pour tout’ around the head of Aristotle, the father of medicine. Translated this approximates to ‘Medical electric medallion, purifies blood, cleanses bile, cures pains and rheumatism, health for all’. Along with the maker’s name, ‘E Osselin’
A similar example can be seen in the National Science Museum
- From the Phisick collection