Site display: Normal | Text Only

My Collection | About Us | Teachers

Find objects

Select from more than one or two options below:

Objects search

Can't find what you're looking for? Try the search below.

Electroconvulsive therapy machine, 1940-1945

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a controversial psychiatric treatment. It was developed in Italy in 1938. ECT machines transmit electric currents to the brain in timed pulses. This causes a massive convulsion or seizure. It was thought possible to ‘shock’ a patient out of a severe mental disorder. This ECT machine may appear crude. However, it had a level of sophistication in that it was adjustable. It administered shocks ranging from 60-150 volts for a pre-set period of time, typically 0.2 seconds. The machine was produced in the 1940s. This was a few years before the first psychoactive drugs became available in 1953. Electroconvulsive therapy had always been controversial. Psychoactive drugs quickly became a competing therapy in psychiatric care. This ECT machine was used at Burden Neurological Institute until it was discontinued in the 1970s.

Object number:


Related Objects

There are 1076 related objects. View all related objects


Related links


    Techniques and Technologies:


    Glossary: electrotherapy

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

    Glossary: electroconvulsive therapy machine

    No description.