Weird Stuff

 A "Nagele" Hair Restorer

 A glass tube filled with neon plugs into a high voltage insulated handle. A rotary control sets the voltage and a violet discharge takes place between the glass tube and one's person. I haven't opened up the circuitry but my guess is that a high frequency high voltage is produced by a mechanically vibrating device driving a tesla coil. There's a sizzling noise and sparks of up to an inch or so bridge the gap between the glass tube and bits of you placed near it. The electrical activity, no doubt is supposed to stimulate one's scalp and promote hair growth. I've seen one of these before, a long time ago and I'd appreciate any info.


 Radiolux Violet Ray Machine


 As you can see this is a RADIOLUX. So.. what's a Radiolux?

Well it's a cure-all magic box known generically as a "Violet Ray" machine.

This model is quite a late example, probably dating from the early 1930s and works from 110 volts. Not as you may think an American supply voltage, but one dating from pre-war days when England had an almost infinite variety of mains voltages, both AC and DC.

Only one glass tube seems to be present but originally there would have been a selection, each producing a marvelous purple glow accompanied by a fizzing noise from the discharge of several thousand volts.

 Amplivox audiometer Type 81

 Not so weird is this old hearing tester

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 Faradyne Electronic Unit

 Electro-Medical Supplies of Greenham made this intriguing item.

 I used to repair weird stuff for a business in Bournemouth. Mostly it was damaged leads for items that generated a pulsed high frequency voltage applied to a customer's skin via a pair of paddles.

I note that EMS, the makers of this "Faradyne Electronic Unit" have been trading since 1924 so their kit must be widely accepted, although I also note that two relatively recent items are held by the Science Museum.

Maybe I'll investigate this item further.... It has a number on a rear plate "61055" which might mean it was made in 1955?

That spindle on the left isn't missing a control knob.. it's an earth terminal minus its plastic cover. The live output connects to the terminal on the right and that dark coloured bulb in the centre is marked "Hivac England CC9L". It's open circuit and is either a small lamp or a fuse.

 Removing six 6BA screws enabled this small grey-painted chassis to be extracted from the outer case. You can see two Brimar valves whose screening cans I've removed for the photo, a 12AU7 and a 6BW6, a mains transformer which included "55" in its code, again implying a manufacturing date of 1955. There's a small transformer next to the valves and another similarly sized one under the chassis. My guess is that it's an audio oscillator with a power output valve. Maybe it's an ultrasonic product as ultrasonics was the wonder remedy for all sorts of problems back in the early 1950s? I know this because I was asked to write an article for our school magazine in 1954 and chose "Ultrasonics" as my topic.


If you understand circuits from the 1950s you may be puzzled as I am about the whereabouts of the HT rectifier? Either it's hidden by the components or the thing uses 50Hz HT.

 Ultrasonics is nowadays used for cleaning things. I once repaired an ultrasonic carburettor cleaner which had an output of hundreds of watts.

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