The Master Key: An Electrical Fairy Tale

L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, wrote this “electrical fairy tale,” dedicating it to his teenage son, Robert. The main character, also a young boy, experiments with electricity, wires, and batteries. When he accidentally touches the “Master Key of Electricity,” he is granted gifts of

Continue reading
Electropsychometer

Electropsychometer

Originally designed and built in the 1940s, chiropractor Volney Mathison used his device, commonly known as an E-meter, to measure the “degree of physic trauma” of his patients. The machine uses electricity to measure physiological responses of the body and relates them to supposed psychological conditions. In the 1950s, L.

Continue reading

Earth Inductor

Designed by Charles Edouard Joseph Delzenne in the 1840s, this demonstration device from around the turn of the 20th century can be used to indicate the presence and orientation of the Earth’s magnetic field. By spinning the round coil of wire, a voltage is produced at the copper brushes attached

Continue reading

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN

In response to the successful 1931 film, Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, Universal Pictures made a sequel entitled Bride of Frankenstein. The film revolved around the creation of a mate for Frankenstein’s monster. This action figure captures the character’s iconic lightning-streaked hair. Accessories include a dungeon stone base with an engraved

Continue reading
X-ray Display

X-Ray Display

X-rays were discovered in 1895 by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. He was the first recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. Like visible light, X-rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but with shorter wavelengths. Shortly after Röntgen’s discovery, X-rays were used for medical imaging. Today, they

Continue reading
Liquid Variable Resistor

Liquid Variable Resistor

This Bailey Current Controller was used to regulate the voltage between a battery and patient during therapeutic treatments. The “wings,” usually made of conductive carbon, can be lowered or raised into a liquid, such as salt water. By doing so, the amount of current applied to the body can be

Continue reading
Polygraph

Polygraph

A polygraph, commonly referred to as a lie detector, was designed to measure and record physiological responses of a person under different conditions. Starting in 1895 in Italy, it was used in criminology to determine if a suspect was telling the truth. Additional modifications were made over time and, in

Continue reading
Chiropractic Pills

Chiropractic Pills

This collection of pills and potions was collected by local chiropractor Thaddeus Liberko and donated to The Bakken Museum by his son, Earl. They come from the Dartell Laboratories vitamin supplement line. While herbs and vitamins in food have long been recognized for their positive effects on health, it was

Continue reading
Psychodiagnostic Plates (Psychodiagnostik Tafeln)

Psychodiagnostic Plates

In 1917, Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach tested his inkblot system, comprised of five color inkblot cards and five black and white cards. As they were shown each card, 300 patients and 100 control subjects were asked to respond while Rorschach wrote down their answers. Afterward, he showed patients the cards

Continue reading
Leyden Jars

Leyden Jars

The Leyden jar was invented in Leyden, a city in the Netherlands, separately by two different men, German cleric Ewald Georg von Kleist and Dutch scientist Pieter van Musschenbroek in 1745. Leyden jars store and discharge static electricity for scientific experiments. They were also used in some of the first

Continue reading