Technology applied for the ?benefit? of mankind

24 Jun

Here’s a little item from June 1916;

A Whipping Machine to Cure Nervousness

(caption: His nervous, tired body is receiving a soothing series of slaps)

There must have been merit in the “birch tea” of childhood, for the same remedy is prescribed in sanitariums nowadays for invalids. In other words, it is considered that a healthy reaction may be gained from a “spanking.”

In the mechano-therapy departments of up-to-date institutions, the “whipping post,” a mechanical device for therapeutic paddling is an accredited healing machine.

You are whipped by straps of heavy cloth or leather attached to two rapidly revolving posts. When you take the treatment you step backward into the flying whips and receive their blows upon your legs, back, abdomen or chest, depending upon the malady from which you are suffering. The impact of the straps is just sufficient to set the blood in free circulation. There is no smarting, stinging sensation because the straps are broad enough to eliminate any possibility of a cutting blow. You are paddled rather than lashed.

The “whipping post” is valuable in many types of nervousness. It is also valuable in increasing blood circulation and relieving numbness. Certain forms of paralysis though not responsive to other treatment, are benefited.

Of course, this isn’t the only time I’ve seen machines used in such ways. Here’s a wife beating machine from 1886.

NOTE: In case you might think this was acceptable at the time, the accompanying text (which I’ve lost) told how the inventor was fined by a tribunal of his peers for “misusing his inventive genius”.


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