After the invention of the electric machine it did not take long for scientist to realize that the Torpedo fish was discharging electriciy. In 1769, Edward Bancroft, an American physician living in Guyana proved that the electricity generated by electric fish was not purely mechanical. That is, a person did not have to be touching the fish to feel a shock. One person could touch the fish with an iron bar and another person whose hands were in the water would feel the shock. Also, if one person put his hand in the water, joined hands with another person, who in turn touched the electric fish, both parties would feel the electric shock.
In addition, both electric sparks from the Leyden Jar and from electric fish was thought to be "wonderfully" therapudic for patients with amoung other things: gout, pain, paralysis, headaches, and fevers. This picture shows the glass globe of an electric machine as a shining beacon descending to cure the lame. While there were many rumors of "miracle" cures many scientists and physicians noted no cures took place during there testing and experiments.
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