Stock Number: 9409


For sale, 19th century electro-massager which was touted as "The Greatest Medical Discovery ....' and "Glad Tidings." The apparatus was patented and a patent model was submitted as required. Included is a copy of the patent papers.


8-5/8 inches (22 cm)



Country of manufacture

North America

Categories: Medicine, Therapeutic & Functional Aids


DR. JOHN BUTLER’S ELECTRO-MASSAGER, American, c. 1885, stamped “Pat¹d. Feb 1, 81.” Measuring 8-5/8″ (22 cm) in overall length, this hand powered device combines physical massage with the benefits of electro-therapy. Constructed of plated brass and iron, it has a chamois-covered cylindrical massage roller which drives, through approximately 23:1 gearing, an electromagnet’s double coil against a permanent magnet. The handle, coated in hard rubber, is in fact the large permanent magnet. The roller, when moistened, is one electrode in contact with the skin; the other is a flexible pad with chamois lining and electric wire connection. The whole is in fine condition, complete with the original carrying case.

Dr. Butler’s innovative combined massager/stimulator was advertised as “The Greatest Medical Discovery Ever Known,” bringing “Glad Tidings for all Men & Women.” Apparently manufactured by the Dynamo-Electric Mfg. Co., at 907 Broadway, New York City, it did have the advantage of no messy liquid battery. Butler was granted U.S. Patent 237,167; we include a photocopy with his unusual device.

Ask the Dealer

Item enquiry

To enquire about this item, complete the form bellow to send a message to the Dealer

Enter Email
Confirm Email

Dealer information


David and Yola Coffeen both have enjoyed academic careers, as planetary astronomer and as linguist/educator. But since 1982 (yes, 1982!) they have been full-time dealers in early scientific and medical instruments, under the name Tesseract. Selling primarily by catalogue (over 100 issued so far) they also have a web presence at www.etesseract.com, and can be contacted at [email protected].

Shipping information
Payment methods
Terms & conditions