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Galvanic brooch, France, 1880-1920

The brooch is made from a number of different metals including brass, copper, lead and nickel-plated iron. The inscription translates from French as “Medical electro medal, purifies blood, cleanses bile, cures pains and rheumatism, health [is] all ruling”. It also carries the maker’s name, “E Osselin”. The brooch was sold as a form of electrotherapeutic treatment, not dissimilar to the way copper bracelets are still used to relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.

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    Glossary: brooch

    No description.

    Glossary: electrotherapy

    The passing of electric currents through the body's tissues to stimulate the functioning of nerves and the muscles.

    Glossary: galvanism

    Any form of medical treatment that uses electricity.

    Glossary: rheumatism

    A disorder where aches and pains affect the muscles and joints.