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HENRY B. ASHMEAD, PRINTER,

1102 and 1104 Sansom Street.

PREFACE.

I SHOULD hesitate to add to the multitude of treatises upon medical electricity which are before the profession did I know of any which, avoiding contested points in electro-physiology and therapeutics, teach the busy practitioner not only when to use electricity, but in explicit and full detail, how; and which in moderate bulk contain only what it is essential to master. For a book of this sort I believe there is a general want, and that want I have endeavored to supply. I claim no originality. There will be found here no new ground opened out, but only an earnest endeavor to sift the wheat of our existing knowledge from the chaff, and to make the reader as much at home with his electrical as with his other medical instruments; and further to lead him to estimate electricity at its fair and proved value in therapeutics, as an agent, not to be indiscriminately advocated as a panacea, nor, on the other hand, neglected by the inexperienced, but in appropriate cases to be regarded as one of the most powerful and serviceable weapons with which we can combat disease. A handbook such as this

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should seek to give the results of the best work ; and in endeavoring to carry this conception into execution I have availed myself freely of the extended experience of the Electrical Room of the National Hospital for the Paralyzed and Epileptic, and have carefully consulted the standard authorities, especially Duchenne's unrivalled and exhaustive treatise on “ Localized Electrization.” For much of the anatomical detail in indirect electrization I am indebted to Ziemssen's “Die Electricität in der Medizin;" and of the illustrations some are original, and others are taken from Duchenne.

I have throughout endeavored to keep constantly in view the practitioner rather than the theorist, especially in those points of detail which are of importance in order to secure the successful application of electricity, and to insure (a not insignificant matter in this respect) the comfort of the patient.

The instruments described are those which for some years I have made use of as well in private as in hospital practice, and they are equally adapted for either.*

H. T. 70, GUILFORD STREET, RUSSELL SQUARE,

January 27th, 1873.

* By permission of the Board of Management, and through the courtesy of the physician, the Electrical Room of the National Hospital for the Paralyzed and Epileptic, Queen-square, Bloomsbury, and the treatment carried out there, are open to the inspection of medical practitioners on the ordinary days of the physicians' attendance.

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