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Human Magnetism: Its Origins, Progress, Philosophy and Curative Qualities, with Instruction for Its Application.

Baker, Rev. Jacob

Published by Worcester, MA. Jacob Baker and M. D. Philllips. ., 1834
Soft cover
From Gadshill (Providence, RI, U.S.A.)

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8vo. 31 pp. The term ?animal magnetism? was coined by the 18th century polymath, Franz Anton Mesmer (1734?1815) on the theory that ?magnetic flux was capable of profound neuropsychomatic and constitutional effects? (Eccles, Mesmer performed clinical trials of the process of magnetic production of a trance state, which we know as hypnotism, in 1774-75. His methods and terminology were popular throughout Europe and were adapted by the Marquis de Puységur, who continued to experiment with the process of hypnotism and the hypnotic state (Slater Brown). In 1784, experiments by Lavoisier, Guillotin and Benjamin Franklin demonstrated that the efficacy of magnetism occurred only in the patient?s mind, but did not challenge the concept that Mesmer?s methods had possible beneficial effects. In 1795, Elisha Perkins, of Connecticut, developed and patented a therapeutic device based on magnetism and electricity, experimenting with it till his death in 1795. The basic methods grew in response to the scientific work of Oersted and Faraday in the period 1820?40. In 1825, a major work published by DeLeuze called attention to the effect of magnetism on the sick. The notion of animal magnetism was first introduced in America by the Frenchman Charles Poyen in 1836. In 1843, Rev. Jacob Baker (1814?92) of Worcester published this pamphlet, suggesting that a vital fluid, or ether, pervaded all natural objects, yielding forces of electricity and magnetism and serving a vital link between mind and body. When activated by the Will or by external magnetic field, this force could cure many diseases, including, according to Baker, epilepsy, asthma and cancer. Baker explains his technique and he recounts case histories from his experience in support of this concept. Profoundly, he argues against the excessive and irresponsible use of magnetism, calling for the consideration of ethics in its application and virtue in the practitioner. From the time of Mesmer, the notion of ?will? has been essential to the success of magnetism. Controlled trials late in the 19th century cast doubt on efficacy of electromagnetism, but the efficacy of hypnotism was confirmed. More recently the effect of electromagnetism on the body has come under study again. Quite rare, with OCLC locating only 5 copies, 3 at Harvard (one intact, one lacking final leaf as here, and one in a sammelband) and one each at Worcester and at Yale. Lacks last leaf, including p. 31 and final blank. Missing leaf provided in facsimile. Mildly soiled, toned and foxed., Else, Very Good. Refs.: N. K. Eccles, Slater Brown, The Heyday of Spiritualism. Illustrated printed paper wraps. Sewn. Bookseller Inventory # 11213

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Human Magnetism: Its Origins, Progress, ...

Publisher: Worcester, MA. Jacob Baker and M. D. Philllips. .

Publication Date: 1834

Binding: Soft cover

Illustrator: Cover illustration of mesmerist and a subject undergoing hypnotism., a wood engraving in an engraved border.

Edition: First Edition.

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