Hypnotism session, 1840s

Hypnotism session, 1840s

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Credit: METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Hypnotism session. Daguerreotype showing four people being hypnotised by a doctor. Photographed in around 1845 by US photographer John Adams Whipple (1822-1891). At this time, hypnotism was extensively used by doctors in Europe and the USA. By 1848, the use of chloroform as an anaesthetic mostly ended the medical practice of hypnotism. Here, a doctor has hypnotised four seated subjects. The medical theory of magnetic sleep held that a magnetic fluid emanated from a hypnotism operator to the patient.

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