Category: Pre 19th Century Instruments Quackery
Estimated Date: 1800
Name: Perkins Tractors
Description: Two 3” long needle like pieces taper from about .25” to a point. Contained in a red case 3.5×0.75×0.25”. One is made of brass, the other of steel. Each is inscribed “Perkins Patent Tractors”. The story of Perkins is a remarkable one. He was a surgeon from Conecticut. He claimed that his tractors could heal infection and inflammation by stroking the affected part of the body. He invented them in 1796. In an effort to prove his invention he traveled to New York City in 1799 during a yellow fever epidemic and died shortly after of the disease. His son introduced the tractors to London and founded the Perkinian Society. He made a fortune from the device. The full story can be found at the wikipedia site. A famous caricature by J. Gilray is shown in one of the views. It was published on Nov 11, 1801 by Humphrey in London.
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