Mesmerism show poster, 1885

Mesmerism show poster, 1885

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mesmerism show poster, 1885. 'Mesmerism' was an early form of hypnotism practised by Austrian physician Friedrich Anton Mesmer (1734-1815). Mesmer carried out experiments in curing patients by the use of magnetic fields, and by just passing his hands over a patient. Mesmer's patients often fell into a trance and felt better when they awoke. The techniques of mesmerism were used in entertainments and theatrical shows through the 19th century.

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