Dr. Carter Moffat’s Ammoniaphone

Dr. Carter Moffat’s Ammoniaphone


Dr. Carter Moffat's Ammoniaphone


Length: 26.25"




The Medical Battery Co.

Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Medicine, Quack Medicine


Dr. Robert Carter Moffat was a professor  of chemistry at Glasgow University. In 1884, before a select audience of 2000 ( largely scientists and musicians), he introduced a new invention, the Ammoniaphone. “They had been invited to witness first-hand the effects of a wonderful new invention designed to strengthen and enrich the tones of the voice, extend its range upwards and downwards, and lend it an otherwise unobtainable purity and beauty”see link below. Moffat argued that the chemical mixture in the Ammoniaphone, when inhaled,  replicated the air of Italy, which was then believed to have salubrious properties, both physical and psychological. The Medical Battery Company, the manufacturer of this instrument:” also claimed a plethora of medical applications for the device, which was purportedly invaluable for the treatment of colds, coughs, asthma, aphonia, bronchitis, consumptions, loss of voice, deafness, and all affections of the throat and chest.  The “success” of the Ammoniaphone was short lived . By  1895 The Medical Battery Co of London had, after a run of bad publicity, gone bankrupt. The example on offer is the deluxe model and retains its original case.    

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Dealer information

M and R Gordon

Michael and Roberta Gordon have been dealing in medical and dental antiques for more than four decades. They have helped build a number of major private collections and have contributed to the holdings of many museums. They also deal in other scientific and technology related items, including calculating instruments, office machines, patent models and wine-related accessories such as corkscrews. ROBERTA GORDON IS A SKILLED RESTORER WHO CAN HELP YOU WITH ANY INSTRUMENTS AND CASES THAT NEED ATTENTION. Feel free to contact them for details at: [email protected] or 718-541-5974