Posted 10 years ago
I got this from one of my local tip shops, i'm not sure what you call a tip shop in your part of the world but it's basically the shop that offers anything for sale that has come from the dump, rubbish dump. It's an amazing place.
I drop by every morning on the way to work and I traditionally look for anything interesting. Old world typography gets my eye, things made from timber, anything made well and with character or unmatchable natural wear etc.
I saw this bizarre thing and of course it caught my eye! I did a bunch of research on it from all sorts of sources and while I couldn't really find out everything I wanted to I did find out that it was produced in London by Siemens Brothers of London around 1850 - 1890.
The idea of it is that you put a penny in the slot, grip the handles and turn the right handle clockwise until it gives you the amount of shock that you can handle.
It turns out that at that point in time doctors and scientists considered current to be a panacea, a cure all.
On the front it says things like 'recommended for women and children', 'usse twice or three times daily', 'recommended by doctors and scientists'. It's amazing. I can't seem to work out why it has a mirror on the front, because the typography goes behind the mirror. I wondered whether the mirror was added later, maybe someone had it in their bathroom or something?
On the reverse side it has a bunch of things I know nothing about, but the workmanship and materials are beautiful.
If anyone knows anything about it let me know, otherwise, just enjoy!