Or Otherwise              

Health healing and recovery ^ by means of High Frequency Violet Ray Treatment.





The range and types of apparatus which are donated to the Wireless Museum can be varied and unusual as the following article shows. This item was donated by Rosemary Newton from Stronsay.  Our thanks to Rosemary.

The apparatus concerned is contained in a small case similar to the picture shown below. The reader of today will find it hard to believe that such a quack health cure ever existed and was allowed to be distributed for private use at home. The story of this device is given here:



  Violet ray treatment became popular during the early 20th century under the now obsolete medical therapy called electrotherapy.  A typical Violet ray device consisted of an un-grounded electrical control box that was attached to a Bakelite handle which contained the high voltage coil and an insertion port for attachments .  The attachments consisted of Glass evacuated tubes of varying shapes and sizes for different therapeutic uses on various different parts of the body.  Violet Rays were said to cure everything from lumbago to carbuncles                                                                                      

The booklet and instructions which came with the device were obviously current for the age in which it was being used, but now a degree of humour can be seen in the over simplistic cure-all qualities it expresses.  Starting at the beginning comes the statement:

‘High Frequency currents have neither injurious nor dangerous secondary effects.  The highest importance attaches to experiments with high frequency currents which show that the human organism can without injury, take directly enormous charges with this electrical form of energy.  As the high frequency apparatus is not connected to earth, its use is absolutely without danger.  Consequently there need be no anxiety in handling the apparatus for the first self- treatment.  Confidence soon follows, and the correct use of the apparatus becomes a matter of course. The High frequency appliance can be plugged to any lighting installation and can be used with either direct of alternating current.  All that is necessary is to see that the apparatus is adapted to the voltage used.  As the high frequency apparatus in not connected to earth, its use is absolutely without danger.  On starting the apparatus, one should not come in contact with electric or telephone wires, or metal and similar objects. Although no consequences can be caused thereby, prickly sparks may possibly flash across now and then causing alarm or an unpleasant feeling.  Under no circumstances should the room be very damp or filled with water vapour, see also that the floor is dry. Metal objects should be taken off before treatment. If it is desired to apply a particularly weak current, especially in treating the eyes, ears and nose, one of more fingers should be placed on the neck of the electrode, to serve as a conductor, so that the current may not work fully.

Hair treatment must not be undertaken immediately after washing with alcoholic hair washes and shampoos as otherwise the danger might arise of the alcoholic vapours remaining in the hair catching fire.

Diseases and their treatment,  (Are you all sitting down-  Edit)

The following are just a few of the 75 treatments mentioned:

Abscess, Acne Vulgaris, Alcohol and Drug habits, Alopecia(Falling Hair), Anaemia, Asthma, Bladder Disease, Barber’s itch, Brain Fag, Callouses and corns, Burns, Constipation ,Nervousness,  Piles.

Treatments for:

Cold ExtremitiesApply Surface electrode to extremities using strong spark, also apply electrode to the spine, keep the electrode a half inch from the skin, until the surface is red.

Constipation Use Surface Electrode over the bowels and Rectal Electrode internally for from 5 to 7 minutes with a strong current. Repeat daily, or twice daily, until relieved. The free use of bran as a food, exercise of abdominal muscles and use of rectal dilators is advisable in stubborn cases.

Dandruff Shampoo the scalp before treatment, dry it thoroughly and apply a medium current with comb.

Deafness Apply Nasal or Ear electrode with very mild current in to the ear, care must be exercised so not to touch the ear drum, 5 to 7 minutes daily.

Freckles- Also birth marks. Apply surface electrode with medium spark 1/8 inch from skin, apply from 10 to 12minutes twice daily. Results are slow but sure.

PilesWe will not go there, - (Edit)

WartsUse special fulguration electrode as it throws a fine sharp spark, apply to the growth long enough to  cauterize the outer surface, if more than one application is necessary apply every third day.

Wikipedia mentions that in one case, an American Policeman was brought to task for using what was thought to have been a ultra violet device to torture his victims!  Strangely the instructions do not mention this use, I guess it is up to you to do it to yourself!  Maybe it’s a case of what might not kill you, might cure you!


Footnote:  Rosemary also donated another unusual device which I believe is known as a Kinora.  This is similar to the old Stereoscope Vewers where a picture card was mounted behind a viewing lens giving an impression that the picture is in 3D. The Kinora was an early motion picture device. A reel was revolved by turning a handle making the picture flip over against a static peg one by one. The moving pictures could be viewed through an eyepiece- Ends.




An early picture taken at the Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall, possibly during the 1960’s.              

  (Perhaps one of our ‘Friends’ members may know the date).  It shows the presenting of a Black and White television to the Hospital. The high regard the television is held in can be seen by the elaborate floral decoration on the table alongside it.  John Muir from Holm who once worked at the Balfour Hospital kindly helped with some of the names. L. to R. Joanna Rosie, Annie Rendall, Isla Petrie,  Ms Hutchison, Francis Cusiter, Ms Mathieson, Matron Blance, Dr Brodie, Hugh MacGillivray, Mary Sinclair, Nancy Murray, Chrissie McGruer, Netta Flett.