Electric Shockers (1 of 1)- PennyMachines MUSEUM
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Shocked Museum

Electric Shockers

Although electric shock machines were early contenders in the great coin-op revolution that started in the late 1800s, they were relative latecomers to the parade of electro-quackery that followed Frankenstein's footsteps (published 1818). They joined electric phrenology, medico and photo-electric therapy machines, hair-raising brushes, invigorating belts and the electric chair (first used in 1890 and sadly still with us), amongst other miracle apparatus proclaiming Electricity is Life (or death). In their original incarnation shockers were a species of vending machine, dispensing a commodity, albeit of dubious value. If the powerful tonic failed to vivify, it was quite likely to spare you the luxury of further ills. Shockers later developed into tests of endurance and were sometimes incorporated into games of chance in an attempt to confuse the gambling issue. This latter type will be found in the games categories. When it finally dawned that high voltages might be even more dangerous to public welfare than gambling, the genre was abandoned.



U.A.M.C. No 2

"Electricity is Life" is the familiar motto on this fine early wall-mounted shocker which administered electricity via an induction coil. The patron inserted a coin, grasped the handles on either side, slowly pressing down the right one to increase the current registered by the pointer on the vertical scale.

United Automatic Machine Co., c.1901