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Book Cover
Author Peña, Carolyn Thomas de la, author.

Title The body electric : how strange machines built the modern American / Carolyn Thomas de la Peña
Published New York : New York University Press, ©2003


Description 1 online resource (xvi, 329 pages) : illustrations
Series American history and culture
American history and culture (New York University Press)
Contents The machine-built body -- Measuring mechanical strength -- Exploring electric limits -- Powering the intimate body -- "Radiomania" limits the energy dream -- Conclusion: the end of an era?
Summary Between the years 1850 and 1950, Americans became the leading energy consumers on the planet, expending tremendous physical resources on energy exploration, mental resources on energy exploitation, and monetary resources on energy acquisition. A unique combination of pseudoscientific theories of health and the public's rudimentary understanding of energy created an age in which sources of industrial power seemed capable of curing the physical limitations and ill health that plagued Victorian bodies. Licensed and "quack" physicians alike promoted machines, electricity, and radium as invigorating cures, veritable "fountains of youth" that would infuse the body with energy and push out disease and death.The Body Electric is the first book to place changing ideas about fitness and gender in dialogue with the popular culture of technology. Whether through wearing electric belts, drinking radium water, or lifting mechanized weights, many Americans came to believe that by embracing the nation's rapid march to industrialization, electrification, and "radiomania," their bodies would emerge fully powered. Only by uncovering this belief's passions and products, Thomas de la Peña argues, can we fully understand our culture's twentieth-century energy enthusiasm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Quacks and quackery -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Quacks and quackery -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Medical instruments and apparatus -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Medical instruments and apparatus -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Electrotherapeutics -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Electrotherapeutics -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Electric Stimulation Therapy -- history
Exercise Therapy -- history
History, 19th Century
History, 20th Century
MEDICAL -- Pharmacology.
Medical instruments and apparatus
Quacks and quackery
Medische techniek.
United States
Verenigde Staten.
Genre/Form History
Form Electronic book
ISBN 081471966X