Mesmer's tub

Mesmer's tub

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Credit: JEAN-LOUP CHARMET/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: "Mesmer's Tub", a device used by Friederich Mesmer (1734- 1815) in his French clinic. After graduating from medical school, Mesmer studied the effect of magnetism on the human body. He believed that magnetism could heal the sick as it reacted with and restored the body's own magnetism. Although he published accounts of successful treatment, he was plagued by a series of malpractice suits. Modern thought suggests that the successes, outnumbered by the failures, were probably in cases of psychosomatic illness. His "Tub", one of the many devices he designed, is now kept at the Museum of the History of Medicine at Nice.

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Keywords: historical image, history, magnetism in medicine, medical charlatanism, mesmer's tub, mesmerism, quack treatment, quackery, tub

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