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An early 20th century trade advertisement for a 'Miss Byrne - Masseuse & Electrician'. Block-printed on paper in an ornate gesso frame. Presumably this would have originally been hung in a clients' waiting room or an entrance hall. Some 'browning' to paper and an old tear. Original old rippled glass. A rare piece of social history.


In this advertisement Miss Byrne plys her trade as 'Masseuse & Electrician'. The 'electrician' element had a different meaning than it does to us today. In the 19th and early part of the 20th century, the term meant someone who was trained and able to administer electrotherapy on people. This was the use of electricity generated by an apparatus used as a form of medical treatment.


The earliest uses of electricity on patients dates back to the mid-18th century, and by the early 1800s was used in many major hospitals. It was primarily used as a form of physical therapy - muscle stimulation, neck and back pain, blood circulation, wound healing, and even insanity. However over the years its effectiveness has been questioned and is no longer a popular treatment, and is certainly not something you want someone called an 'electrician' to administer today!

NOW SOLD - Edwardian trade advert sign

SKU: KS7178
  • Date/period


  • Dimensions (h x w)

    28 x 37cm

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