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Mesmerism

Mesmerism

N820/0005

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Credit

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Engraving of a drawing room wherein people are placing their limbs under bands of iron. This was one of the therapies advocated by Friedrich/ Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), seen at far left. Mesmerism was an early form of hypnosis often involving a variety of equipment such as magnets. Although his methods were always controversial he did have some well-publicised successes, to the dismay of orthodox doctors, which secured his theories a certain popularity during the late 18th and early 19th century. Some of his techniques were later developed by Braid into the respectable theory of hypnotism.

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