It’s ALIVE! Today we’re joined by special guest Marie to talk about the strange history of galvanism. From the start, curious scientists have pushed the boundary of death, electrocuting corpses of animals and humans. We’ll discuss the birth of medical galvanism, follow the trail of its evolution, and explore how galvanism is interpreted in present day medicine.
- Letters of Andrew Jackson Lambert from http://www.childers-sheperd.org [The Heritage of Swain County North Carolina, 1988, Swain County Genealogical and Historical Society, Bryson City, NC, Hazel C.
Jenkins, Coordinator, pp. 33-36. The original manuscript of this letter is in the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, NC. Thanks to
Peggy Lambert for letting us know of the existence of this letter.]
Part I: What is Galvanism?
- “Galvanism” by William Nicholson. British Encyclopedia; or Dictionary of arts and sciences. Comprising an accurate and popular view of the present improved state of human knowledge. 6 Volumes. London. 1809. III, unpaginated.
- “Galvani’s Animal Electricity Experiments” Summary from The Institution of Engineering and Technology Archives from Galvani’s “De Viribus – Electricitatus in Motu Musculari”. Posted in 2015.
- “The Controversy over Animal Electricity in 18th century Italy: Galvani, Volta, and others” by Walter Bernardi. Revue d’histoire des sciences. 2001. 54(1):53-70.
- Giovanni Aldini via Wikipedia
- George Forster via Wikipedia
- “General views on the application of galvanism to medical purposes” by Giovanni Aldini. 1819. Section 1, pg. 3.
- “An account of the history and present state of galvanism” by John Bostock. 1818. pg. 147.
- “How a Real-Life Dr. Frankenstein Reanimated the Dead with Electricity” by William Rothman. Excerpt from The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution by Henry Schlesinger. www.gizmodo.com. 30 March 2010.
Part II: Experimentation and Mesmerism
Part III: Criminal Executions
- The Story of John White from “Execution and Resuscitation of a Murderer.- Wonderful Effects of Galvanism” by William Sturgeon. The Annals of Electricity, Magnetism, and Chemistry; and Guardian of Experimental Science. London. 1841. Vol. VII.
- Andrew Ure and Matthew Clydesdale via Wikipedia
- Alexander Tardy the Pirate via Wikipedia
- “Piracy and Murder” (from the Richmond Enquirer, July 20) The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser. 4 January 1828.
- “Edison vs. Westinghouse: A Shocking Rivalry” by Gilbert King. Smithsonian.com. 11 October 2011.
Music used in this podcast:
The Panic Slowly Creeps In by Haunted Disco
Transform (Ray Rude) / CC BY-NC 3.0
Technological 1 by Cory Gray
Technological 4 by Cory Gray
Lucid Streaming by Graham Bole
Cyphon by Jason Staczek
Space Night Drumming by Frank Dorritke
Tribal Baby by Satellite Ensemble
Cultural Dis-Ease by Andrew Bisset