On recent explorations through brocantes, vide greniers and marche de puces, we have come across a few items that have stumped us. But not for long, that is. What would we do without Google?
When I learned the broad range of uses of Dr. Macaura's "Le Pulsoconn", I was surprised to also learn that it is no longer a commonly-used medical device. Such a shame! Once heralded as a universal healing machine as far back as the 1880s, it was an electrical therapeutic device that sent an electrical current through the patient's body to stimulate muscles or increase blood flow. It reportedly treated rheumatism, gout, lumbago, sciatica, maladies of the nervous system, paralysis, and ataxia. See what I mean about universal healing? If you'd like to read the full brochure or learn more about Dr. Macaura, here's the link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/49984254/Pulsoconn-Brochure-1#fullscreen
The Mignon AEG, on the other hand, certainly looks like some sort of medical torture device. But in reality it was an office work-related torture device. It is an index typewriter, dating back to 1905 in Berlin Germany. It featured a carriage or typesleeve, an index card with letters/numbers, and two keys in front. You positioned a pointer over a letter on the index, struck a key which depressed the pointer, which printed a letter on the paper and advanced the carriage. Different fonts and character sets could be used for different languages, making this machine extremely versatile.
The most amazing tidbit I uncovered about the Mignon AEG is that operators could attain typing speeds of 100 keystrokes per minute on this little beauty!! Now how about that for lightning fast texting?